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10 Worst Cars Of All Time (A Survey) #2  
User currently offlineiowaman From United States of America, joined May 2004, 4431 posts, RR: 6
Posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 8467 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
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Please continue the discussion here as the last thread was over 250 replies.

Previous thread:
10 Worst Cars Of All Time (A Survey) (by Geezer Nov 27 2012 in Non Aviation)

172 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinetype-rated From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 8436 times:

No it was a pea soup green model with a black vinyl interior and the 232 cu engine. I had it for about six years. But it turned into a rust bucket. At 6 years old the passenger side floor board had rusted through, the tops of the front fenders looked like swiss cheese from all the rust. The engines oil pump failed and that was the last of that car.

I had seriously considered a Pinto or Maverick instead of the Gremlin, but after the Cougar I had had it with Ford for some years to come.

[Edited 2012-12-29 15:25:17]

User currently offlinecptkrell From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 3220 posts, RR: 12
Reply 2, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 8431 times:

Wow; who would guessed this would transfer to to 'new' discussion? Anyhoo, although the thread has migrated to alternate discussions (like all topics do), I'll respond in kind to the last posts regarding AMC vehicles from a few fond memories.

I met Wally Booth in a local Dearborn saloon and we were talking drag cars. He had only limited sponsorship for campaigning a pro-stock Vega from Chevrolet at the time (big bucks were going Bill "Grumpy" Jenkins (RIP) and some other large crowd-drawing campaigners, and Wallace, Dick Aarons (engine designer), Dick Gostenick, Dave Tratechaud (master builders and crew) and others on the pro team were approached by AMC to campaign a Gremlin. Didn't really work out that well, but the Booth-Aarons team looked at the NHRA specs and worked a deal racing the AMC Hornet, Mr. Jim Rader from AMC was the competition activities point man. Not even a bad looking car at the time IMHO. It took me (self gloss) only a little while to use my sophomoric expertise but common sense in aerodymamics to eek out a little more speed and a little less 100'ths seconds in trap time. Long story short; we knocked Plymouth, Dodge, Ford, Chevrolet and anybody elses dick in the dirt and won the national NHRA pro-stock championship at Indianapolis.

To this day I think the AMC Hornet is cool; very acceptable styling and just a hint of different proportions compared with the "big three" offerings of the era.

Now, I didn't think the Gremlin (or the assymetrical Dick Teague doors on the Pacer are my cup of tea, although I guess they made sense), but then again, I don't like much the Cube (sorry, Geezer) or the prevalent trend to "smiley face" or "angry face" styling exhibited on current car designs.

Getting back to original thread, and maybe I've commented on this before, the Pontiac Aztek was a pretty damn good vehicle for its' purpose. Too bad that Wayne Cherry and the board of directors funded the concept with such gross styling. One of the the worst cars of all time? Probably not. One of the worst styled cars of all time? Probably.

Best regards...jack

)



all best; jack
User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15828 posts, RR: 27
Reply 3, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 8415 times:

Quoting cptkrell (Reply 2):
Getting back to original thread, and maybe I've commented on this before, the Pontiac Aztek was a pretty damn good vehicle for its' purpose.

The Aztek was a genuinely bad car, but it seems to sometimes distract attention away from an equally bad GM effort of similar vintage: the Chevrolet SSR.

The SSR was not cheap.
The SSR was not fast.
The SSR was not practical.
The SSR was not fun to drive.
The SSR was not good looking.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlineGeezer From United States of America, joined Aug 2010, 1479 posts, RR: 2
Reply 4, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 8415 times:

Quoting cptkrell (Reply 2):
To this day I think the AMC Hornet is cool

Wow ! I think this is a pretty damned "cool" story ! Way to go, cptkrell !

Quoting cptkrell (Reply 2):
Now, I didn't think the Gremlin (or the assymetrical Dick Teague doors on the Pacer are my cup of tea, although I guess they made sense), but then again, I don't like much the Cube (sorry, Geezer) or the prevalent trend to "smiley face" or "angry face" styling exhibited on current car designs.

When Toyota first came out with "Scion", and we started seeing these little "boxes" with wheels running around town, I guess I kinda felt the same way; like, "who in the hell would want to ride around in a damned "box" ? I didn't pay any attention to the things for a couple of years, and until just about a year ago, I had no earthly idea of ever buying another car, as I figured my 3500 Dodge Ram/diesel would "last me" as long as I needed anything to drive; and mechanically, I still think it would; but a few things happened, that taken together, changed my "needs" considerably; diesel fuel went sky high, then my "then" fiancee' (and "now" wife) got sick, and I was having to run back and forth, 65 or 70 miles round trip every day, to the hospital in Terre Haute, and it was putting a TON of miles on the Dodge, plus killing me buying the diesel fuel, and at the exact same time I finally "got around to" selling my house in Ohio, and when MY ex and I split the proceeds from the house...........I all of a sudden realized I really HAD to buy an inexpensive, fuel efficient small car; and just thinking about my needs, (and never even riding in any of them), I figured the car I needed was either the Scion "box", the Kia "Soul", or the Cube. The next day we were in Terre Haute, and I noticed a Cube sitting on the Nissan dealership's used car lot; I decided to stop and just "look it over"; when the sales guy came out he seemed like a pretty nice guy, so I drove the thing around the lot......probably no more than a couple hundred yards; and just like that......I told Arlene........this is it ! I liked everything about it; (except that one had 30K on the clock, and I didn't want one with more than 15K) I found one the next day in "Auto Trader", called up about it, and told the guy I'd drive up to Laffayette and pick it up the next day. Believe me.......Cubes just "grow on you" ! (I have however finally found ONE thing about it that makes no sense what-so-ever; you actually can't turn the damned inst panel lights out ! (if you're sitting in the car, listening to the radio while you're waiting for someone, if you don't wants the panel lights on.....you have to turn the engine off ! ) Which IMO, is completely ridiculous !

Charley



Stupidity: Doing the same thing over and over and over again and expecting a different result; Albert Einstein
User currently offlinecptkrell From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 3220 posts, RR: 12
Reply 5, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 8406 times:

Geezeer (rep 4); I was no way implying I disagreed with your personal choice of the Cube. I simply was stating that ME don'ts likes the appearance of the car. Obviously, other people do and that is fine with me. A friend who owns one argues that it's "different". My response is that a case of the crabs is different too, but you don't necessarily want them.

BM727; I'm not entirely sure the Aztec was a "genuinely bad car". You have testimony or experience? Admitedly I never owned one but was "forced" to drive one for a few weeks as a company car and found it extremely capable irrespective of some of the immature tasks I requested of the thing.

As per your reference to the SSR, that project was somewhat mis-developed by the new chief engineer at the time, one Mr. Orndorff, who had come down to the then Advanced Project Engineering Center in Warren from C-K trucks in Pontiac, MI. The original concept was started on the S/T truck platform and would have enjoyed much more success (I think) because of weight, packaging, etc. but he dictated that the full-size pickemup truck platform be used and everything went down the tubes from there. So, I agree with your overall analysis, except I think it's kinda cool looking. regards....jack



all best; jack
User currently onlineSuperfly From Thailand, joined May 2000, 40065 posts, RR: 74
Reply 6, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 8370 times:

Quoting type-rated (Reply 1):
I had it for about six years. But it turned into a rust bucket. At 6 years old the passenger side floor board had rusted through, the tops of the front fenders looked like swiss cheese from all the rust.



Yikes!
I thought AMC had pioneered galvanized steel and wouldn't have those rust issues.

Quoting cptkrell (Reply 2):
To this day I think the AMC Hornet is cool; very acceptable styling and just a hint of different proportions compared with the "big three" offerings of the era.



Our family had a 1974 AMC Hornet hatchback with the straight 6. It also had rust issues.
That designed lasted all the way till the 1988 model year as the Eagle station wagon.
The Hornet SC coupe is a sweet car too.


For all of us AMC fans, check out this AMC fan site;

http://arcticboy.com/

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 3):
The SSR was not cheap.
The SSR was not fast.
The SSR was not practical.
The SSR was not fun to drive.
The SSR was not good looking.



I never understood the point of that vehicle. Also why was it named after the Soviet Socialist Republics?

Quoting Geezer (Reply 4):
I figured my 3500 Dodge Ram/diesel would "last me" as long as I needed anything to drive;



Doesn't those diesels get pretty good mileage?



Bring back the Concorde
User currently offlineGeezer From United States of America, joined Aug 2010, 1479 posts, RR: 2
Reply 7, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 8363 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 3):
The Aztek was a genuinely bad car, but it seems to sometimes distract attention away from an equally bad GM effort of similar vintage: the Chevrolet SSR.

BMI, if you happen to run across a picture of a "SSR", how about posting it; That must be something GM had attempted to "pawn off onto the public" since I retired in '97; ( the "SSR" name doesn't ring a bell )

I think I mentioned this one other time in a thread, but speaking of "worst cars"........(or dumbest idea / least useful product from a major car maker...........let's not for get the "Syclone" ! (excuse me while I get back up off of the floor, where I fell, just thinking about that idiotic mis-adventure ! ( I wonder if anyone still has one of those "super-trucks" still sitting around ? )

You gotta hand it to GM though..........no other manufacturer in automotive history has ever been able to "turn" fifteen cents worth of vinyl into 2 or 3 K, like GM did occasionally when they came out with one of their famous "special limited editions"; ( I think that's how they referred to them ) Remember when the Indianapolis Motor Speedway started the "Brickyard 400", to get NASCAR at Indy ? Anyway, I was driving out of Norwood, O. at the time, hauling Camaros's and Firebirds on the outbound trip; At the time, the top-of-line Firebird was the "TransAm"; In a feeble attempt to "associate" the brand with racing (and the newly created race), GM "slightly altered" the next 500 (or so) TransAms that came off the line, and referred to them as "Brickyard 400, Special Limited Edition TransAm"; The "differences" being..............they were ALL painted "sickly white"; they ALL had a pathetic little 2 inch vinyl "patch" (with "Brickyard 400" super-imposed over a tiny black outline, (supposedly showing the "Brickyard 400 track,) with a minuscule little "checkered flag"; this little vinyl patch was pressure-sensitive "stuck" on both sides of the "special limited edition" white TransAm; the third (and by far, the most important "difference"), was th price........about 3K MORE than other TransAns, ( which were already 3 or 4 K more than "plain old" Firebirds.) The whole marketing idea being, the "Special Limited Edition" nonsense, which was supposed to create in the mind of TransAm buyers, the notion that "I have one of the ONLY 500 built ! Yeah, right ! (sucker) The line usually ran at maybe 40 units an hour, to maybe 60 per hour........and for about a week and a half, EVERY TransAm rolling offv the line was white. with a 15 cent piece of vinyl "stuck" on both sides, and a 3k increase on the sticker-price ! The other amazing part of this sorry saga was, many of those "priceless", (read: "sorry") little dumb white vinyl "badges" actually managed to"stay stuck" on the side of the TransAM for several months ! (before finally falling off and further cluttering up the highways)

So.......was ANY ONE lucky enough to see a Brickyard 400 Limited Edition TransAm ?

Charley



Stupidity: Doing the same thing over and over and over again and expecting a different result; Albert Einstein
User currently onlineSuperfly From Thailand, joined May 2000, 40065 posts, RR: 74
Reply 8, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 8359 times:

Quoting Geezer (Reply 7):

What year was that "Brickyard 400"?

The Pontiac Aztec as certainly ugly but more recently, Nissan/Infiniti has been putting out some awful looking crossover SUV/CUVs. The worst offenders being the Murano and and FX35.
The Mercedes M-class looks hideous also.



Bring back the Concorde
User currently offlinezippyjet From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 5533 posts, RR: 13
Reply 9, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 2 days ago) and read 8348 times:

This may be a bit off topic but since AMC has been mentioned, here goes. All of a sudden it seemed out of nowhere for model year 1974 AMC actually made something style wise that didn't look like puke on wheels. They took the tired outdated fugly 4 door Matadoor/Ambassador platform and spun off a halfway decent looking 2 door Matador coupe. Along with the Mustang II this coupe sold like hotcakes for that year only. It wasn't a fuel miser by any reach. As a matter of fact AMC seemed hip for one year. Even the LAPD bought Matador's for their squad cars albeit the ugly 4 door. Even the James Bond entry for 1974 Man With The Golden Gun went with American Motors for their cars in this movie. A one time event. It seemed as if AMC might have become hip but then they reverted back to form with the bathtub Pacer and milking the stale fat Hornet design way too long (through 1988). Is it just me or do the Pontiac Aztek and the Hornet/Eagle wagon look like kissing cousins?

http://media.caranddriver.com/images/10q1/332639/2001-pontiac-aztek-gt-photo-336715-s-1280x782.jpg

http://www.gatsbyonline.com/Users/8/Images/GatsbyAutomobilesDivers/MatadorX-11.jpg

For AMC this was not a bad looking car!



I'm Zippyjet & I approve of this message!
User currently onlineSuperfly From Thailand, joined May 2000, 40065 posts, RR: 74
Reply 10, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 2 days ago) and read 8344 times:

Quoting zippyjet (Reply 9):
Is it just me or do the Pontiac Aztek and the Hornet/Eagle wagon look like kissing cousins?


Nope. It's just you.

Quoting zippyjet (Reply 9):
For AMC this was not a bad looking car!


It's beauty on wheels.
My 1st. grade teacher had one.
There was also a two special editions. The Oleg Cassini designer edition and the Barcelona edition - the bullfighter from Detroit....



Bring back the Concorde
User currently offlineJoeCanuck From Canada, joined exactly 9 years ago today! , 5478 posts, RR: 31
Reply 11, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 8336 times:

I browsed through the last thread and a few cars people hated I like quite a bit. The Smart car has one of the most comfortable cabins I've every been in. The ergonomics are excellent as is the quality of the interior. It is painfully slow mainly because of the horrible single clutch semi automatic transmission.

I had a lot of fun driving a Smart in Germany...I got the thing up to 153kph on the autobahn and passed quite a few Audis and the like. I also took it for a tour of the Nurbergring...probably the only Smart car to every do a lap...and probably the slowest lap ever.

A brother of mine had a Pinto...which was not a bad little car. Handled and rode pretty well. It seemed pretty solid and the drivetrain was very reliable. It did turn into a pile of rust though...but it was a fun car to drive.

AMC was a strange company...it had some great looking cars like the Javelin and the AMX. I always liked the oddball looks of the Gremlin but the Pacer, the Matador and Hornet were just terrible looking.

So many cars from the mid 70's could qualify in the 10 worst category; but I'd have to go with the Mustang 2 to lead the list...combining the worst from the Pinto and the Maverick...and not as good as either...though they both set the bar very low.



What the...?
User currently offlinezippyjet From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 5533 posts, RR: 13
Reply 12, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 8334 times:

Quoting JoeCanuck (Reply 11):

I browsed through the last thread and a few cars people hated I like quite a bit. The Smart car has one of the most comfortable cabins I've every been in. The ergonomics are excellent as is the quality of the interior. It is painfully slow mainly because of the horrible single clutch semi automatic transmission.

I had a lot of fun driving a Smart in Germany...I got the thing up to 153kph on the autobahn and passed quite a few Audis and the like. I also took it for a tour of the Nurbergring...probably the only Smart car to every do a lap...and probably the slowest lap ever.

Does the Hello Kitty looking Smart Car even offer a manual stick shift? At least in Europe? This is a car for a stick shift. I wonder how this car does with the A/C pumping out the cold air?



I'm Zippyjet & I approve of this message!
User currently offlinesccutler From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 5613 posts, RR: 28
Reply 13, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 8315 times:

The Hornets were extremely stout, long-lasting cars, especially with either the 232 or 258 sixes. As for rust, I live in Texas, where we just don't have to deal with that much.

The Matador Coupe was a beautiful creature, so much more cohesive in design than its rivals from GM, Ford or Chrysler.

I saw one at a wrecking yard, must have been the "teaser" car from some dealer's advertising, because it had base everything- the 258 six, three-speed column shift, and no air conditioning. Very odd.



...three miles from BRONS, clear for the ILS one five approach...
User currently offlinePolot From United States of America, joined Jul 2011, 2359 posts, RR: 1
Reply 14, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 8307 times:

Quoting Geezer (Reply 7):
BMI, if you happen to run across a picture of a "SSR", how about posting it; That must be something GM had attempted to "pawn off onto the public" since I retired in '97; ( the "SSR" name doesn't ring a bell )

Since nobody posted any images of it, here it is in all its glory:

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-6ME53Do7Uus/Tk8_XgOPW_I/AAAAAAAAAn4/e2R8JkvUnR0/s1600/2003-Chevy-SSR-Red-Flat-Running-Boards-track-1280x960.jpg

That is a retractable hardtop by the way, here is how it looks with it down:

http://media.caranddriver.com/images/media/260165/2005-chevy-ssr-photo-260198-s-1280x782.jpg

Keep in mind that it is on the same platform as the Trailblazer EXT. Images do no justice on just how large and out of proportion the SSR is.


User currently offlinecptkrell From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 3220 posts, RR: 12
Reply 15, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 8292 times:

That series Matador (Zippyjet's photo; reply 9) showed up at NASCAR. In 1974 Gary Bettenhausen and Bobby Allison racked up 6 top five finishes including 1st @ Riverside.

In '75 Bobby Allison had 11 top fives including 4 first place wins.

In '76 Penske abandoned for Mercury and Allison only managed a 15th place @ Riverside, but then in 1977 Allison formed his own Matador team and had 6 top fives but no wins.

Economics precluded AMC from continued true sponsorship in NASCAR, NHRA, etc after that.

Yep, as I and others have said, the SSR is one of those "why?" cars. I still like its looks though, and the Corvette V8 gets you there quickly. A local butcher delivers fresh meat to several local saloons in one. "Cut them hot meats." No need for a refrigerated truck.

Geezer; there have always been Indy 500 and Brickyard 500 (and other) pace car editions for the public. Value or not, it has always seemed to be a good sales/marketing tool for the companies, although I do agree with you, the "value" is questionable. There will ALWAYS be some collector, though. Really unique pace cars were the Hurst T-top Indy 500 editions for Olds and Buick. They proved so succesful that they (the T-tops) went on as a regular option (although built off-line at an aftermarket supplier on a drop-ship basis). Kind regards...jack



all best; jack
User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15828 posts, RR: 27
Reply 16, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 8274 times:

Quoting cptkrell (Reply 5):
You have testimony or experience?

Thankfully not. It's far from the only bad crossover ever made, but a tent? Seriously?

I have heard that the biggest customer of the Aztek was GM themselves, who foisted them on quite a few employees who were entitled to a company car.

Quoting cptkrell (Reply 5):
As per your reference to the SSR, that project was somewhat mis-developed by the new chief engineer at the time, one Mr. Orndorff, who had come down to the then Advanced Project Engineering Center in Warren from C-K trucks in Pontiac, MI.

GM should have just imported the Holden Ute and called it the El Camino. It would have been better than the SSR in basically every way. It would have cheaper, faster, more useful, and better looking.

Quoting Geezer (Reply 7):
That must be something GM had attempted to "pawn off onto the public" since I retired in '97;

It was the early to mid-2000s. It started off fat, expensive, and underpowered. Then Chevy upped the engine output to 390 horsepower or so, and the SSR was fat, expensive, and slightly less underpowered.

Quoting Geezer (Reply 7):
I think I mentioned this one other time in a thread, but speaking of "worst cars"........(or dumbest idea / least useful product from a major car maker...........let's not for get the "Syclone" !

The Syclone and Typhoon are some of the best things GM has done since the muscle car era. Sure the interior is nothing special, but GMC made those suckers go. You're talking about a truck that could blow away Camaro Z28s and Ferrari 348s. They packed 280 horsepower (officially, according to some forums and stuff the actual numbers are higher) when base Corvettes had only about 300.

Quoting Geezer (Reply 7):
I wonder if anyone still has one of those "super-trucks" still sitting around ?

Many people have them and love them. GM screwed up dozens of times over the years, but the Syclone and Typhoon are not examples of that. Those models have become cult classics.

Quoting Geezer (Reply 7):
You gotta hand it to GM though..........no other manufacturer in automotive history has ever been able to "turn" fifteen cents worth of vinyl into 2 or 3 K, like GM did occasionally when they came out with one of their famous "special limited editions";

Porsche does it better. They take stuff out and increase the price while having several special editions of pretty much all their models. And then there's the options: heated steering wheel? $270. Paint the key to match the color of the car? Over $300. And if you want your instrument dials colored it will cost you $690.

Quoting cptkrell (Reply 15):
and the Corvette V8 gets you there quickly.

No it doesn't. A 5.3 0-60 time in the SSR could be equaled by the GMC Syclone from a decade earlier. And, weighing over 4700 lbs, you'd better hope that there are no corners between here and there.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently onlineSuperfly From Thailand, joined May 2000, 40065 posts, RR: 74
Reply 17, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 8272 times:

Quoting sccutler (Reply 13):
The Hornets were extremely stout, long-lasting cars, especially with either the 232 or 258 sixes.
Quoting sccutler (Reply 13):
As for rust, I live in Texas, where we just don't have to deal with that much.


We had our Hornet from 1979-1981. It was a 1974 model and it rusted really fast. I never forget when the muffler and exhaust pipe rusted off at start-up and left a huge burn mark in the driveway.
Once we put a new muffler on, the car sounded brand new all over again.

Since the Hornet is the same car as the Eagle, is it possible to drop in a 360cu" V8 and still keep the car 4-wheel-drive?
That would be an awesome modification for a 1984 Eagle.

Quoting sccutler (Reply 13):
The Matador Coupe was a beautiful creature, so much more cohesive in design than its rivals from GM, Ford or Chrysler.



..and good enough for a James Bond movie too.



Bring back the Concorde
User currently offlinecptkrell From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 3220 posts, RR: 12
Reply 18, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 8263 times:

BM727; You answered (your Rep 16) in response to my SSR statement " and the Corvette V8 gets you there quickly"

"No it doesn't. A 5.3 0-60 time in the SSR could be equalled..."

I guess I'm missing something. I think 0-60 in 5.3 is quick. Especially in something weighing in at 4700 lbs. However, I agree with your other points.

Superfly (Rep 17) "..and good enough for a James Bond movie too." You do know the car manufacturers PAY to have their cars in movies and TV shows. Usually (not always, but usually) the highest bidder wins. Best regards...jack



all best; jack
User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15828 posts, RR: 27
Reply 19, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 8255 times:

Quoting cptkrell (Reply 18):
I think 0-60 in 5.3 is quick.

It was quicker then than it is now, but it still wasn't stellar. How anyone could show up at a Chevy dealer and leave with an SSR when presumably the dealer would also have a far superior and similarly priced Corvette on the lot is beyond me.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlineokie From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 3176 posts, RR: 3
Reply 20, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 8253 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 3):
The SSR was not cheap.
The SSR was not fast.
The SSR was not practical.
The SSR was not fun to drive.
The SSR was not good looking

The artist concept drawings were released in 99 or 00 when the PT Cruiser hit the showroom floors.

As far as good looking I would say it was the talk of the break-room table from the concept drawings.
There was profound interest the best I could tell.
The problem seemed to be it took almost 4 years to get it to the showroom floor with a price tag equal or greater than a Corvette. Interest wained and the vehicle was useless as far as practicality or performance was concerned, it still looked acceptable but missed every mark as far as a reason to purchase a vehicle with that price tag. Something sure got lost in design and development, it is tough to market a vehicle that just does not excel in some area or the other.

Okie


User currently onlineSuperfly From Thailand, joined May 2000, 40065 posts, RR: 74
Reply 21, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 8250 times:

Quoting cptkrell (Reply 18):
You do know the car manufacturers PAY to have their cars in movies and TV shows. Usually (not always, but usually) the highest bidder wins.



You're right. A friend of mine's wife does product placement for Ford.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 19):
How anyone could show up at a Chevy dealer and leave with an SSR when presumably the dealer would also have a far superior and similarly priced Corvette on the lot is beyond me.
Quoting okie (Reply 20):
it still looked acceptable but missed every mark as far as a reason to purchase a vehicle with that price tag. Something sure got lost in design and development, it is tough to market a vehicle that just does not excel in some area or the other.



I ignored the SSR when it was new. I had NO idea it was that expensive!  Wow!
I thought it was priced similar to a PT Cruiser. For someone to spend a Corvette price on a SSR needs their head examined.
Ford did a much better job with their retro styled Thunderbird and even that was less than a Corvette.
The best retro award should go to the new Dodge Challenger. It's beautiful, practical and priced right.



Bring back the Concorde
User currently offlineGeezer From United States of America, joined Aug 2010, 1479 posts, RR: 2
Reply 22, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 8246 times:

Quoting Superfly (Reply 6):
Don't those diesels get pretty good mileage?

When you say,"pretty good milage", pretty good relative to what ? Sure, my 3500 Dodge / Cummins gets GREAT mileage, relative to a gas powered, 7,500 lb truck ! Probably about double; but there are a few more things to take into consideration, than just "miles per gallon"; I just filled my Cube at Krogers last night, and it took about 6 gallons to fill it; at somewhat less than $3.00 per gallon; ( and those 6 gallons got me something like 210 to 225 miles "down the road"; even the Cummins can't do that! ) Diesel fuel is still $4.00 a gallon ! Not to mention, to replace my Dodge with comparable equipment would cost upwards of 60K; I could buy about four brand new Cubes for that sum. ( OK, OK, nit-pickers, 4 "brand new" Cubes with 15K "on the clock"; OK ?)

Also, when you buy insurance for a vehicle, I'm sure the company selling the insurance is going to charge quite a bit more, if they know they're on the hook for 60K, as opposed to 15k; I guess what it proves is, there is no such thing as a vehicle that will "do everything", and be the most "economical" while doing "everything".

But when need a truck that is capable of carrying a heavy load, (safely and efficiently), a diesel engine is always going to be the better option for power; (which is precisely why ALL big, 80,000 lb. MGVW trucks have had diesel engines in them for about the last 60 or so years now.)

Quoting Polot (Reply 14):
Since nobody posted any images of it, here it is in all its glory:

Thank you, Polot ! Yep, just as I had "suspected"........I've been seeing "those things" here and there forever, and always wondered, "WTF" ? I think I may have seen one with the roof retracted a time or two, but I'm not sure. Also, I had heard "here and there" that they had Corvette motors in them, and that they "weren't cheap"; IMHO, attempting to design a vehicle that will "excite" the minuscule market segment that will dig down and actually BUY such a "less than single purpose" vehicle, while STILL trying to make a profit doing it, is "fraught with peril" ! ( Maybe just take the design investment bucks to Vegas and play roulette, and have a "better chance" of making a profit ? )

While we're on the topic of "single purpose" / "no purpose", HUGE investment to design and market vehicles, I'm very surprised that no one has yet mentioned that "thing" (I can't even remember what they called them any more)......the 40's & 50's era "hot rod" thing that Chrysler dropped a fortune on, and ended up selling about 6 copies ? You know, no fenders on the front end, but with two HUGE ugly looking .......... (I'd have to run get a dictionary to find enough adjectives to describe that pitiful looking "monstrosity"); but once again, there WERE people who loved them, ( which was proven when 3 people actually BOUGHT one !)

And the ONE "special purpose", "exotic" that I actually LOVED, and even got to deliver a couple of......the DeLorean ! (There's just "something about" a stainless steel, un-painted, gorgeous body, that makes you want to........(stand and gaze at it ? ) ( The interesting thing about the DeLorean was the "genius" that came up with it and had his name on it.)
(One time auto exec / turned designer,/ turned unsucessful marketer / turned dope dealer ? Whatta guy ! ) I'm sure there are at least a few on here that were "around" when the SS body DeLorean first came out; hell, everyone loved looking at the things, even if they weren't "high performance"; but the ONE copy of the type that REALLY caught my eye was............I used to go to this GM dealer in Charleston, W. Va. every once and a while, and this dealer sold a few DeLoreans; one day I was dropping off a unit or two, and they had taken a brand new DeLorean to their paint shop, and gave it the most "mouth-watering", BLACK, "imron" paint job, (what ever the hell THAT is ?) But the thing was BEAUTIFUL ! (That gorgeous balck paint looked to be about 6 inches "deep" ! ) ( I ofter wondered where THAT baby finally ended up ? ) A junk yard, maybe ?

Oh hell.......we have six inches of snow on the ground, the sun just came out, and I'm sitting here talking about "funny cars" ! I gotta run out and take pictures !

Charley



Stupidity: Doing the same thing over and over and over again and expecting a different result; Albert Einstein
User currently offlinecptkrell From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 3220 posts, RR: 12
Reply 23, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 8218 times:

S'Fly; I think the Challenger is TOO retro. I mean when you see one on the road you don't know whether you're looking at vintage or new (unless each is side-by-side at the same time). Even retro flavour should have some "reach" appearance-wise IMHO.

Geezer; I'm thinking you might be referring to the '97-2001 Plymouth, then Chrysler (after Plymouth Division went tango uniform) Prowler. I dunno, I like them. They sold 11 or 12,000 btw.

Geezer; I can personally think of two real claims to fame for John Zachary. #1 was being so instrumental in the original Pontiac GTO which arguably ushered the American muscle car era and #2 for marrying Kelly Harmon. I must admit the DeLorean car was/is an eye catcher but there are just too many inherently questionable items about some of the original design intent. Two pet peeves of mine are #1; it's a TRUE rear engine car with the trans in front of the hanging-out-the-back-of-the-car power plant which is a no-no, and #2; a brushed stainless steel exterior body over a plastic chassis. Hell, it's hard enough to keep a stainless steel refrig or oven clean. Try keeping a stainless car clean, not to mention there are probably only a dozen or so craftsmen in the USA that would have the expertise to repair it without resorting to simply R&R a new zillion dollar piece of body skin. BTW, gull-wing doors are way cool if you don't have to use them in everyday driving. John Z. DeLorean certainly had the engineering and marketing credentials but I simply think his ego got in the way of his professionalism. If one is really interested in a "new" DeLorean, there is an American company that remanufactures them "to spec" for dollars large, but I can't remember where. Just my .02 cents.



all best; jack
User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15828 posts, RR: 27
Reply 24, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 8212 times:

Quoting cptkrell (Reply 23):
I mean when you see one on the road you don't know whether you're looking at vintage or new (unless each is side-by-side at the same time).

Just weigh them. It will be very easy to tell them apart that way.

Quoting cptkrell (Reply 23):
Even retro flavour should have some "reach" appearance-wise IMHO.

The problem with retro is where to go with it. The Mini still looks pretty much the same after more than a decade, although the line has been expanded with some of the models being stranger than others. Ford has evolved the Mustang somewhat, but I'm thinking that quite a few people will be disappointed with whatever the 2013.5 or 2014 Mustang ends up being.

Quoting cptkrell (Reply 23):
Geezer; I'm thinking you might be referring to the '97-2001 Plymouth, then Chrysler (after Plymouth Division went tango uniform) Prowler. I dunno, I like them. They sold 11 or 12,000 btw.

The Prowler probably doesn't belong on any worst lists, but it always seemed underwhelming to me for what it cost. I don't see why anyone would have bought one instead of a BMW Z3 or Porsche Boxster.

Quoting cptkrell (Reply 23):
I must admit the DeLorean car was/is an eye catcher but there are just too many inherently questionable items about some of the original design intent. Two pet peeves of mine are #1; it's a TRUE rear engine car with the trans in front of the hanging-out-the-back-of-the-car power plant which is a no-no, and #2; a brushed stainless steel exterior body over a plastic chassis.

The DeLorean absolutely does belong on a "worst cars" list. It wasn't especially good looking and the performance was embarrassing.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlinezippyjet From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 5533 posts, RR: 13
Reply 25, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 8244 times:

Quoting cptkrell (Reply 18):
Superfly (Rep 17) "..and good enough for a James Bond movie too." You do know the car manufacturers PAY to have their cars in movies and TV shows. Usually (not always, but usually) the highest bidder wins. Best regards...jack

It seems that for one year the stars aligned nicely for American Motors (1974). They played ball with the big guys and took the plunge to appear in the James Bond film of that year; Man With The Golden Gun.

This reminds me of what happened in 1957 (reading historical accounts) that Chrysler Motors did everything right with the 1957 big finned "Forward Look Cars." Great sales, car of the year etc.

Back to AMC how come their success only seemed to last just one year 1974? It seemed like overnight they again became an also ran. What was the last year for the Matador Coupe? And why did AMC not apply the modern styling of the coupe Matador and at least freshened up the 4 door Matador/Ambassador? This could have made the difference for them.

http://www.curbsideclassic.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/AMC-matador-74.jpg
Actually this is quite a flattering picture of the staid 4 door. The basic models looked like crap.



The vent window on the 4 door dates that Matador.

I remember back in the day (1974) most of the Matadors on the road in the Baltimore area were the base and middle models. Even the dealerships usually had models that seemed rental car equipped. Basic bench seat, AM radio only and the splurge option was A/C. The Oleg models were very rare.

[Edited 2012-12-30 19:03:32]


I'm Zippyjet & I approve of this message!
User currently offlinetype-rated From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 26, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 8217 times:

The Rambler American SC coupe was quite a nice little pocket rocket.

A friend of ours had a AMX, very nice looking car. But over the years of ownership the front end would sag. If I remember correctly it was something called the tronion that was the cause of the problems. But it was nicely styled with a very stylish interior.

I think I paid $2,100 for my Gremlin, the only option it had was an automatic transmission, that was it. The Hornet would have been about $2,800 or so.


User currently offlineMrChips From Canada, joined Mar 2005, 938 posts, RR: 0
Reply 27, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 8267 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 24):
The Prowler probably doesn't belong on any worst lists, but it always seemed underwhelming to me for what it cost. I don't see why anyone would have bought one instead of a BMW Z3 or Porsche Boxster.

No, the Prowler deserves every criticism leveled at it. First of all, just look at it:
http://i.imgur.com/YgYFB.jpg
It looks ridiculous, especially with those stupid gray plastic front bumpers. The engine and drivetrain were crap, the interior was awful Chrysler parts bin, the handling was frighteningly bad (especially at highway speed) and to top it all off, the Prowler was within a few dollars of the Boxster's price, and quite a bit more than the Z3 six-cylinder, to say nothing of the four. As an example, a base model Boxster retailed for $38,600 in 1997; the Prowler was $38,300, while the Z3 2.8 was $35,900 and the 1.9 was $31,000 or so.

[Edited 2012-12-30 20:50:11]


Time...to un-pimp...ze auto!
User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15828 posts, RR: 27
Reply 28, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 8254 times:

Quoting MrChips (Reply 27):
It looks ridiculous, especially with those stupid gray plastic front bumpers.

The things people do for the government. Anyone would be better off buying a real hot rod.

Quoting MrChips (Reply 27):
The engine and drivetrain were crap,

To be fair, at the time there weren't many great engines sitting around. This was before the Daimler merger and before the return of the hemi V8s so it wasn't as if there was really anything better, short of a Viper V-10, that could have been dropped in there.

Quoting MrChips (Reply 27):
the interior was awful Chrysler parts bin,

That criticism can be leveled at most American performance cars since the muscle car era. It seems like almost every review has some variation of "interior should be better for what it costs." Corvettes have been criticized for this as long as I can remember, although for $50k it's borderline but for $100k, see your local Porsche dealer. Vipers kinda got a pass for it since being raw and uncivilized was always part of the shtick, but even the new GTS version appears to make great strides in this department.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently onlineSuperfly From Thailand, joined May 2000, 40065 posts, RR: 74
Reply 29, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 8240 times:

Quoting Geezer (Reply 22):
First of all, just look at it:



Understood.

Quoting cptkrell (Reply 23):
I think the Challenger is TOO retro.


In other words, it's PERFECT!  
Quoting zippyjet (Reply 25):
What was the last year for the Matador Coupe?


1978.
The boxy coffin nosed sedan went to 1978 also.

Quoting zippyjet (Reply 25):
I remember back in the day (1974) most of the Matadors on the road in the Baltimore area were the base and middle models. Even the dealerships usually had models that seemed rental car equipped. Basic bench seat, AM radio only and the splurge option was A/C. The Oleg models were very rare.


In the Chicago area, we had plenty of fully-loaded AMCs. You would think that there were 4 major auto manufactures, not 3.

Quoting MrChips (Reply 27):
First of all, just look at it:


Although not my kind of car, I do respect it and it is a good looking car. My only complaint with that car is the cost and the dealer markups were insane.



Bring back the Concorde
User currently offlineDL_Mech From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 1984 posts, RR: 9
Reply 30, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 8239 times:

Quoting Superfly (Reply 6):
For all of us AMC fans, check out this AMC fan site;

Thanks for that link!

Quoting Geezer (Reply 7):
You gotta hand it to GM though..........no other manufacturer in automotive history has ever been able to "turn" fifteen cents worth of vinyl into 2 or 3 K

I must admit that I still really like one of those GM "sticker cars" from 1983. I saw one on the road near ATL recently.

Quoting sccutler (Reply 13):
The Matador Coupe was a beautiful creature

I'm surprised at the amount of love for this car today. Back in the 70s, most people thought they were hideous.

Quoting Superfly (Reply 17):
Since the Hornet is the same car as the Eagle, is it possible to drop in a 360cu" V8 and still keep the car 4-wheel-drive?
That would be an awesome modification for a 1984 Eagle.

Why not go all the way and put in a 401? I doubt that the transfer case could handle either.

Quoting Superfly (Reply 21):
I ignored the SSR when it was new. I had NO idea it was that expensive!

The SSR, Prowler and 2002-05 Thunderbirds had large "dealer adjustments" added to their window stickers when they first came out. I wonder if they would have sold better if the dealers had not played such games trying to "create exclusivity."

Quoting Geezer (Reply 22):
they had taken a brand new DeLorean to their paint shop, and gave it the most "mouth-watering", BLACK, "imron" paint job, (what ever the hell THAT is ?)

Imron was a brand of enamel made by DuPont.



This plane is built to withstand anything... except a bad pilot.
User currently offlinecptkrell From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 3220 posts, RR: 12
Reply 31, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 8195 times:

"Imron was a brand of enamel made by DuPont."

Right, DL_Mech; we painted a couple of our airplanes with it (and a couple of show cars), and it will KILL you if safety resperation cautions are not followed. Of course any spray paint will eventually have the same effect (read lung disease as per smoking). Imron is just more lethal with quicker results.

Kind regards and Happy 2013 to ya'll...jack



all best; jack
User currently offlineJoeCanuck From Canada, joined exactly 9 years ago today! , 5478 posts, RR: 31
Reply 32, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 8163 times:

Quoting cptkrell (Reply 31):

Imron and Endura are two part epoxy vehicle paints...very tough and very toxic to use. They are isocyanate paints...they key part to note is 'cyanate'. It releases cyanide gas when it is used though it is entirely benign when it's dry.

I know guys who have been severely poisoned by painting with a leaky mask. The safest way is to use a positive pressure mask.

That being said, they are the toughest paints around...resistant to chemicals, rust and all sorts of abuse. It is a bear to sand blast.

Ok...sorry for the diversion...back to the regularly scheduled topic...



What the...?
User currently offlinetype-rated From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 33, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 8143 times:

If you look back at 1970's editions of Flying magazine, Imron was heavily advertised as a brilliant and long lasting finish for your aircraft.

User currently offlineDL_Mech From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 1984 posts, RR: 9
Reply 34, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 8135 times:

Quoting cptkrell (Reply 31):
it will KILL you if safety resperation cautions are not followed.
Quoting JoeCanuck (Reply 32):
I know guys who have been severely poisoned by painting with a leaky mask. The safest way is to use a positive pressure mask

Wow....good to know.



This plane is built to withstand anything... except a bad pilot.
User currently offlinetype-rated From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 35, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 8080 times:

Quoting Superfly (Reply 10):
Quoting zippyjet (Reply 9):
Is it just me or do the Pontiac Aztek and the Hornet/Eagle wagon look like kissing cousins?

It's the near identical roof line from the tops of the doors upwards that does it.

Quoting Superfly (Reply 21):
Ford did a much better job with their retro styled Thunderbird and even that was less than a Corvette.

I was disappointed when they stopped making the new one. Around here you'd see quite a few on the road, but I haven't seen one in weeks now. Maybe the owners are putting them in storage?

And remember you can have your DeLorean overhauled by the factory or you can still buy a new one. Parts are readily available. The company is here in Houston.

http://delorean.com/


User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15828 posts, RR: 27
Reply 36, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 8070 times:

Quoting Superfly (Reply 21):
Ford did a much better job with their retro styled Thunderbird and even that was less than a Corvette.

The Thunderbird was all about styling. Other than that, the Mustang was better in pretty much every way: two more seats, lower price, and better performance. And, as far as styling goes, the Thunderbird finally died in 2005, which was the same year the retro styled Mustang debuted. It wouldn't surprise me if some Thunderbird buyers (there weren't that many in 05) felt awfully stupid when they saw the new Mustang.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlinezippyjet From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 5533 posts, RR: 13
Reply 37, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 8042 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 24):
The problem with retro is where to go with it. The Mini still looks pretty much the same after more than a decade, although the line has been expanded with some of the models being stranger than others. Ford has evolved the Mustang somewhat, but I'm thinking that quite a few people will be disappointed with whatever the 2013.5 or 2014 Mustang ends up being.



For whatever reason, I'm not tired of the now 8 year old general design of the Mustang. It evokes the best of the classic early Mustangs. The dash takes the best ques from the classic 1967-1968 design. The 2010 and 2011 Mustang tail lights took a bit of a nose dive but have redeemed themselves on the current models. I feel Ford has a winner with this current Mustang design. Unlike the Fox platform Fairmount looking wedges the designers have been able to keep the car cutting edge in looks.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed for the next generation Mustang. But when I hear Ford wants to base it on a "world car design (Evos or Ewok) or whatever it's called I think of a blob on wheels that appeals to soccer hooligans from Italy and Brazil who have too much estrogen and live only for men's soccer/football. Ford almost made that fatal mistake during the Regan era by making the Probe the next Mustang (FWD). Luckily, enough wrote in protesting this move. The downside was more years of the horrid Fox Fairmont cheap looking Stang. Ford would be smart to leave the Mustang a Mustang and roll out their world blob for the soccer hooligan set. If Ford wants to redo the Mustang, keep certain things like the grille, tail lights, dash and galloping horse and maybe make the lines resemble the latest Porsche's and Maseratis. That would be a wild Mustang that could raise the bar.



I'm Zippyjet & I approve of this message!
User currently onlineSuperfly From Thailand, joined May 2000, 40065 posts, RR: 74
Reply 38, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 8036 times:

Quoting DL_Mech (Reply 30):
Thanks for that link!


You welcome.  
Quoting DL_Mech (Reply 30):
Why not go all the way and put in a 401?


Are they the same engine block?

Quoting DL_Mech (Reply 30):
I doubt that the transfer case could handle either.


Could the transfer case be mounted to any V8? The 258cu" straight six is a great engine with lots of low-end torque but no top-end power at all and lags on inclines at highway steeps. It only put out 110HP but at 2800RPMs.
Perhaps the last generation 258cu" with EFI made in the 1990s would do the trick?

Quoting DL_Mech (Reply 30):
I wonder if they would have sold better if the dealers had not played such games trying to "create exclusivity."


Probably.
I remember a Dodge dealer near San Francisco was asking $120,000 for a Plymouth Prowler!  Wow!
The list price was only $40,000 but the dealer thought he could get away with a $80,000 dealer mark-up and there were Dodge Vipers there on the showroom going for less.

Quoting type-rated (Reply 35):
I was disappointed when they stopped making the new one. Around here you'd see quite a few on the road, but I haven't seen one in weeks now. Maybe the owners are putting them in storage?


It's a summertime vehicle.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 36):
The Thunderbird was all about styling.


Well of course, as all retro cars are.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 36):
Other than that, the Mustang was better in pretty much every way:



Two different types of vehicles.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 36):
It wouldn't surprise me if some Thunderbird buyers (there weren't that many in 05) felt awfully stupid when they saw the new Mustang.



Not at all. Two different types of buyers.

Quoting zippyjet (Reply 37):
I'm not tired of the now 8 year old general design of the Mustang. It evokes the best of the classic early Mustangs. The dash takes the best ques from the classic 1967-1968 design. The 2010 and 2011 Mustang tail lights took a bit of a nose dive but have redeemed themselves on the current models. I feel Ford has a winner with this current Mustang design.


  
I agree! I am a fan of the current design and they can keep this design around for a long time just as they did with the Fairmont-based Mustangs.

Quoting zippyjet (Reply 37):
that appeals to soccer hooligans from Italy and Brazil who have too much estrogen and live only for men's soccer/football.


LOL!   
I thought they rode on buses and subways.  



Bring back the Concorde
User currently offlineDL_Mech From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 1984 posts, RR: 9
Reply 39, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 8010 times:

Quoting Superfly (Reply 38):
Quoting DL_Mech (Reply 30):
Why not go all the way and put in a 401?


Are they the same engine block?

IIRC, all AMC V-8s from 1967-1991 (290,304,343,360,390,401) share similar mounting, only differing in deck height.

Quoting Superfly (Reply 38):
Could the transfer case be mounted to any V8? The 258cu" straight six is a great engine with lots of low-end torque but no top-end power at all and lags on inclines at highway steeps. It only put out 110HP but at 2800RPMs.
Perhaps the last generation 258cu" with EFI made in the 1990s would do the trick?

I think the 258 morphed into the 4.0 "power tech six" which was used for decades in countless Cherokees. I'm not a Jeep guy, but I think it's a well respected engine.



This plane is built to withstand anything... except a bad pilot.
User currently offlinecptkrell From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 3220 posts, RR: 12
Reply 40, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 7967 times:

DL_Mech's observation (Rep 39) is correct; all the AMC V-8s were basically the same engine with displacements being accomplished by bore/stroke combinations and deck heights to facilitate longer stroke.

Also, IIRC from my Booth-Aarons racing days, they all also used Borg-Warner manual transmissions with with compatible bolt hole spacing to the bell housing, but one had to be aware of flywheel used (I don't remember why). We of course used the Lenco transmission (you know, the pictures you see with a different gear level for each speed) as did other pro-stockers. Each gear was actually a 2-speed transmission in itself with a 1:1 ratio and a 1:? ratio; just pull the individual lever for each gear. Cool. The car would scream doing 0-150+mph in the 8-second bracket, not bad for the era. Regards...jack



all best; jack
User currently offlinePHLBOS From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 7557 posts, RR: 23
Reply 41, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 7951 times:

Man, I take a couple of weeks off and this thread goes into a sequel.

I'll try to do a car-by-car overall reply. Note: many of the quotes are from the previous thread.

Mustang II and other Ford products:

Quoting Zippyjet: I specificially remembered that Consumer Reports auto issue from 1974. And they reviewed the Mustang. 1974 was the worst year when it came to anti-smog/pollution controls.

From the Mustang II enthusiast site link that Superfly posted on the previous thread, the April '74 Consumer Reports lists the one-day fuel economy test of the 4-cylinder Mustang II to be 22 mpg, not 13 mpg as you posted. The article also states that it was about 600 lbs. heavier than most 4-cylinder compacts of the era (many of which got over 30 mpg but were basically tin cans on wheels). 13 mpg was what I got around town on both of my 1976 LTDs w/the 351M engine that I owned from 1985-1988 and 1993-2008 respectively. I got a maximum of 18 mpg on both cars.

Quoting Zippyjet:
And, I felt, the Fox platform Mustang should have at least gotten re-skinned and lose some of it's boxiness as the design wore on. I did however like the Coupes of 1979-1982 and the convertible a bit.

A couple things:
1. The factory-produced convertible rolled out in 1983; earlier models were after-market conversions.

2. The Fox Mustang indeed got reskinned in 1987. The likely reasons why Ford didn't go further and alter the roofline then was due to costs (tooling costs can get expensive) and the fact that the would-be FWD Mustang/Probe (originally conceived back in 1982) would be offered by 1989. Why go through the trouble & cost of a major restyle if the car's going to be dropped a year or two later?

I agree w/you regarding the styling of the coupes BTW.

Quoting Zippyjet:
I do not remember the base Ford Fairmonts having that ugly manual window crank circle on it's doors!

Crank circle? Are you referring to what's on the door trim or the handles themselves? I know that both the Fox Mustangs & Fairmonts shared the same window cranks. My reply on the previous thread was in reference to the optional pivoting vent window cranks; which were a plastic black circular knob that indeed screamed CHEAP. Not sure about the final Fairmonts ('83) but I believe that Ford changed the vent window crank knobs to the type similar to what was on their trucks & vans, across the board by either 1984 or 1985.

Quoting Zippyjet:
How do you think the Mustang II would have been treated by history if it was simply just called the Mustang? The II sort of trivialized the cars. Personally, I feel had the II not been added, the 1974 through 1978's would have fared better.

The II designation was strictly Lee Iacocca's doing & decision. The reasoning behind it was that, even then, he didn't think that his Mustang II was worthy of being in the same exact league as his original Mustang 10 years earlier. So there was indeed some 2nd guessing regarding the Mustang II even inside the ranks back then; despite the strong first-year sales figures and MT's COTY award.

Quoting Zippyjet:
Throwing II after the LTD was sort of tacky

That was essentially Ford's way of captializing on the the then-still popular LTD name. The goal was 2-fold: update its mid-size offering but give it a name similar to its full-size to combat w/GM's newly downsized full-sizes. For 1977, Ford indeed marketed both the LTD & LTD II as a 'Shop where you have a choice' mantra in its brochures.

Quoting Zippyjet:
imagine if Ford made the 1977 through 1979 T-Birds, Thunberbird II?

There was no need to. the '77-'79 models were the best-selling T-Birds per model year ever; Ford clearly made the right move. It's worth noting that the some proposed names for original Mustang was indeed Thunderbird II and even Cougar. Some pre-production concept models circa 1963 even had Cougar badging and a cat logo on the grille (where the galloping horse would later be).

Quoting Superfly:
The LTD II did seem a bit redundant. Why have a stripped down Thunderbird? Was the price that much different?

One needs to remember that the LTD II coupe was a replacement for the Torino coupe, which was the bargain-basement of the standard mid-size lineup whereas the '77 T-Bird, in essence, replaced the '76 Elite... Ford's personal luxury mid-size coupe. It was no more redundant than the Chevy Malibu coupe vs. the Monte Carlo of the same era. There probably was a price difference back then. It wasn't until the 1980s that automakers started noticing the redundancy and started discontinuing the standard mid-size coupes to save on production costs.

Quoting Zippyjet:
I think this was due to Ford going with the Pinto platform. I learned on this thread Ford was seriously considering basing the 74 Mustang (II) on the compact Maverick frame. Then, they could have dropped an 8 under the hood as an option. Also the weight ratio would have been better. Front, back and side profile I actually liked the Mustang II looks. The coupes did hark back to the 1964 and a half through 1970 models.

As mentioned in the last thread, Ford's decision to go with the Pinto platform was based on the rising sales (even before the gas price shock of October 1973) of import (mainly Japanese) subcompacts. Ford originally envisioned the 1970 Maverick as a domestic alternative to VW, Toyota & Nissan (then called Datsun in the U.S.) but it was viewd as too big; so the samller Pinto was developed. Since many of these imports featured sporty variants of their models; Ford's decision for the Mustang II to use the Pinto platform to better combat them. The Mustang II's mission was essentially 2-fold: bring back the days when the Mustang wasn't so large & heavy; and to combat the various import sporty coupes (Toyota Celica & Datsun 240Z).

The downsides of using the Pinto platform, in retrospect, were obvious; a cramped interior and no space for a V8 without (according to Cptkrell) some modifications/alterations. Ford made a similar mistake w/the '89-'90 T-Bird/Cougar; the hood was too low to house the 5.0/302 V8; that would change in 1991.

Quoting cptkrell:
BTW, that '74 Cougar a bit dissappointed me. It's essentially a Montego notchback with specific trim and a window "port" hole poked into the C-pillar.

To a degree, that's essentially what Ford did w/the Elite; using the Torino coupe as a starting point. I guess Ford & Mercury did not have the funds to go with a completely different roofline for those coupes until the 1977 restyle of the Cougar XR-7 the new T-Bird. Like its T-Bird sibling, the '77-'79 XR-7s did enjoy some strong sales; the model was sold-out for 1978.

Quoting BMI727:
I'm thinking that quite a few people will be disappointed with whatever the 2013.5 or 2014 Mustang ends up being.

IIRC, the all-new Mustang will roll out in the Spring of 2014 as a 2015 model (unofficially 2014.5); so the 2014 Mustang will be a carry-over of the current 2013 model. As I stated in the last thread, I've seen drawings of the 2015 Mustang range from the outlandishly futuristic to something that looks like a face-lifted version of the current model; so I will withhold any judgment until I see an actual production model and/or prototype. Let's not forget the conceptual 2011 Explorer looked very different from the actual production model.

AMC

Quoting cptkrell (Reply 2):
To this day I think the AMC Hornet is cool; very acceptable styling and just a hint of different proportions compared with the "big three" offerings of the era.

   IMHO, the Big-Three missed the boat by not offering wagon versions of their compacts during the early-to-mid 70s. For GM & Ford; there was too much of a gap between their pre-downsized mid-size wagons (Malibu & Torino) and their subcompact bretheren (Vega & Pinto). At the time, the AMC Hornet was the only domestic compact wagon on the market.

Quoting Superfly (Reply 6):
Quoting type-rated (Reply 1):
I had it for about six years. But it turned into a rust bucket. At 6 years old the passenger side floor board had rusted through, the tops of the front fenders looked like swiss cheese from all the rust.

Yikes!
I thought AMC had pioneered galvanized steel and wouldn't have those rust issues.

Not in the early 70s. If memory serves, AMC started touting galvanized steel on their models during the very late 70s (1979) after the Hornet became the Concord and the Gremlin became the Spirit.

Quoting zippyjet (Reply 25):
Back to AMC how come their success only seemed to last just one year 1974? It seemed like overnight they again became an also ran. What was the last year for the Matador Coupe? And why did AMC not apply the modern styling of the coupe Matador and at least freshened up the 4 door Matador/Ambassador? This could have made the difference for them.

IIRC, AMC was bleeding some serious red ink back then. While they had some success in the compact & subcompact market; they were struggling in the mid & full-size retail markets (many police departments bought them due to price). AMC was the first domestic car company to completely axe their full-size cars (the Ambassador) after the 1974 model year in response to the gas price spikes of late 1973/early 1974. They had no money to design and tool a downsized full-size car like GM, Ford & Chrysler had & did. Once the CAFE standards took effect in 1978, the handwriting was literally on the wall for the mid-size Matador.

Had AMC not offered a 4WD variant of its compact Hornet/Concord (which by then had very strong competition by Ford/GM/Chrysler in the 2WD department) called the Eagle in 1980 and its subcompact Spirit a year later; the only vechilces w/AMC badging for the 80s would have very well been only Jeeps; which became an AMC brand during the early 70s(?)).

Others:

Quoting DL_Mech (Reply 30):
The SSR, Prowler and 2002-05 Thunderbirds had large "dealer adjustments" added to their window stickers when they first came out. I wonder if they would have sold better if the dealers had not played such games trying to "create exclusivity."

IIRC, that's what did in the DeLorean. John DeLorean originally envisioned his gull-wing coupe to be priced in the Mustang/Camaro range (around $9-11k at the time). However, dealerships were pricing it 2 to 3 times as much, thinking that looks alone would sell it, and the whole thing blew up in their face. Since the V6 DeLorean did not outperform the V8 Mustang or V8 Camaro nor got 4-cylinder-like fuel economy; it was essentially a dud... until the Back to the Future movies started rolling out a few years after its production was halted.

The main issue w/the Chevy SSR, Plymouth Prowler and the '02-'05 T-Bird is that these were primarily offered as toys/fun/collector's cars and not everyday daily drivers. Which is fine when the economy is good; not fine when the economy is either soft and/or weak.

In the case of the retro T-Bird, which rolled out about 3 years too late IMHO, it debuted shortly after the economy took a hit post-dot-com bubble-burst & post-9/11/01 fallout. In a soft economy, these kind of cars are the first to take a hit saleswise. Plus, most 2-seaters aren't known for selling in high numbers to begin with; regardless of what price market they're in (remember the Pontiac Fiero & Ford EXP of the 80s were launched as economy-minded 2-seaters).

A similar argument could be stated for the SSR, although the economy improved by the time it rolled out for the 2004 model year; as you stated, excessive dealer mark-ups certainly contributed to its downfall. Plus, for a pick-up, it wasn't exactly practical at all.

In the case of the Prowler, it failed due to timing of its roll-out; right when the Plymouth brand was slated for discontinuation. A similar fate might have been in store for the PT Crusier had it rolled out a year or two earlier as a Plymouth as originally planned.

Quoting Superfly (Reply 29):
Quoting cptkrell (Reply 23):
I think the Challenger is TOO retro.


In other words, it's PERFECT!

  



"TransEastern! You'll feel like you've never left the ground because we treat you like dirt!" SNL Parady ad circa 1981
User currently offlinecptkrell From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 3220 posts, RR: 12
Reply 42, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 7921 times:

PHBOS; thanks for a very nice summary in your Rep 41. I'm not entirely sure I could have written anything better and I concur with your observations/opinions with only little (moot) points. Well done.

One disagreement with y'all. I still believe that the new Challenger needs a little more upgraded styling flavour. Almost anybody (doesn't have to be a professional-degreed designer, either) can zoom up or down proportions of an original and call it "new". My case in point; I think Chrysler failed a bit on this Challenger project styling-wise but succeeded on the new Viper.

Back to a note that PHLBOS (and others) have alluded to; TIMING means a lot. Not to shoot and kill all product planners and corporate sales minions in the industry, but that IS what they get paid for.
"Hey, Rastus, let's do a new XYZ 2-seater off the current ABC platform."
"Hey, Goober, do you think peoples will buy it?"

Sometimes NOT. all best...jack



all best; jack
User currently offlineMrChips From Canada, joined Mar 2005, 938 posts, RR: 0
Reply 43, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 7910 times:

Quoting cptkrell (Reply 42):

One disagreement with y'all. I still believe that the new Challenger needs a little more upgraded styling flavour. Almost anybody (doesn't have to be a professional-degreed designer, either) can zoom up or down proportions of an original and call it "new". My case in point; I think Chrysler failed a bit on this Challenger project styling-wise but succeeded on the new Viper.

I'm no fan of the Challenger either - partly because it is so incredibly bland to behold, but mostly because I really don't care for most of this "retro" styling craze that has gripped several automakers (not just American ones either). While I understand and appreciate the need (and in fact the desire) to have a car's design evolve over time, throwing away the book and going totally retro speaks of a styling department that is just plain out of ideas. Sometimes they do alright (the latest edition of the Mustang is pretty sharp admittedly, but that's because they've embraced modern design concepts as much as the old ones with that car), but in the case of the Challenger and the Camaro, it reeks of a cynical marketing ploy to separate Boomers from their money.

Just as bad is this need to incorporate historical flourishes in the design of your car; a character line here, a shape there and all of a sudden, everything looks like you went to the achives, took a bunch of bits and stuck them together in an incoherent and messy rolling history lesson - one need look no further than the W212 Mercedes E-Class and the SLS AMG as prime examples of this concept running amok.

Quoting cptkrell (Reply 42):
Back to a note that PHLBOS (and others) have alluded to; TIMING means a lot. Not to shoot and kill all product planners and corporate sales minions in the industry, but that IS what they get paid for.
"Hey, Rastus, let's do a new XYZ 2-seater off the current ABC platform."
"Hey, Goober, do you think peoples will buy it?"

The biggest problem is that the time elapsed between the birth of the concept and the time the first car hits the showroom floor is long enough that conditions can change so much that the car is as much of a dinosaur to the public as, well, a dinosaur. Look no further than the body-on-frame SUV; how many of those are still on sale today? (good riddance to those, I might add).



Time...to un-pimp...ze auto!
User currently offlineFI642 From Monaco, joined Mar 2005, 1079 posts, RR: 2
Reply 44, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 7907 times:

Quoting zippyjet (Reply 12):
Does the Hello Kitty looking Smart Car even offer a manual stick shift? At least in Europe? This is a car for a stick shift. I wonder how this car does with the A/C pumping out the cold air?

There was a Smart tonight at Los Portales with a wind-up-key on the back. Stupid.



737MAX, Cool Planes for the Worlds Coolest Airline.
User currently offlinecptkrell From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 3220 posts, RR: 12
Reply 45, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 7894 times:

MrChips; I agree with your observation that timing between a product planning decision (let alone the "bubble up" of the design/engineering phase) is still a dreaded several years prior to proof of concept and job 1 prototypes. It used to be a lot worse at the USA companies after implementation of external forces (i.e. a lot of government stuff and other out of the loop concerns). The gap seems to be improving somewhat, but our international competetors still apparently have an edge.

But then, it used to be a lot better. Remember 1957, 58, 59 when GM introduced totally new vehicles not for just each of those three years but for every division coincidingly? Different times.

Additionally I would comment on your last opinion that certain body-on-frame SUVs (Chev Suburbans and GMCs come to mind) are very viable because they are more useful and rugged for their intended purposes. I'm not saying that every purchaser uses them for their designed purpose (more than likley many of the vehicles will see their most severe duty in a WalMart parking lot) but a unibody won't cut it around here for crossing creeks, hauling horse trailers, flatbeds with endloaders aboard, etc.

F1642; I think the wind-up key Smart is a cool R.F. We had a prototype 1991 Caprice delivered to styling and it was unloaded in the employe's parking next to the wind tunnel. It was all white. At lunch time the clay modelers cut out a giant whale water spout from a 3/4" thick 4X8 sheet of foamcore and duct taped it to the hood of the car. Charlie Jordan was PISSED! I still laugh. Wish I had a photo. Regards...jack



all best; jack
User currently offlinezippyjet From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 5533 posts, RR: 13
Reply 46, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 7888 times:

Quoting cptkrell (Reply 42):
PHBOS; thanks for a very nice summary in your Rep 41. I'm not entirely sure I could have written anything better and I concur with your observations/opinions with only little (moot) points. Well done.



  

Quoting MrChips (Reply 43):
The biggest problem is that the time elapsed between the birth of the concept and the time the first car hits the showroom floor is long enough that conditions can change so much that the car is as much of a dinosaur to the public as, well, a dinosaur. Look no further than the body-on-frame SUV; how many of those are still on sale today? (good riddance to those, I might add).



Couldn't have said it better. Case in point; The much maligned laughing stock Edsel. The concept and design were spawned back in 1954/1955. The economy was strong and life in the USA was hunky dory, I Like Ike Sha Boom Sha Boom. Life was but a breeze. That is why the car got that horse collar grille which resembled the female genitalia fertile tirangle. Reverse angle vent windows and chrome chrome everywhere. However whent that creampuff rolled out in 1958 the country was in a recession and the USA was smarting from playing catch up to the Soviet Union in the space race. Therefore the Edsel was the biggest dud of all time on wheels. At the same time Packard had the king of the pimpmobiles, a concept car named the "Predictor." !Back to timing: The what was then progressive futuristic Chrysler co. "Forward Look" creampuffs were originally going to be held back and roll out for the 1960 model car year. Instead someone at Mopar made the ballsy moove to bring them out for model year 1957 with the now hoaky advertising slogan: Suddenly it's 1960! Imagine had they waited till 1960. Those cars would be big finned dinosaurs!

Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 41):
One needs to remember that the LTD II coupe was a replacement for the Torino coupe, which was the bargain-basement of the standard mid-size lineup whereas the '77 T-Bird, in essence, replaced the '76 Elite... Ford's personal luxury mid-size coupe. It was no more redundant than the Chevy Malibu coupe vs. the Monte Carlo of the same era. There probably was a price difference back then. It wasn't until the 1980s that automakers started noticing the redundancy and started discontinuing the standard mid-size coupes to save on production costs.



Actually the LTD II was basically the Torino line carried over but with a sheet metal face-lift. The dash, and other components were literally identical! And the Torino was Ford's midsized line across the board. You had your bare bones models with the depressing thin bench seats all the way up to the Elite. There were even Torino Broughams and Gran Torinos. The T-Bird moved down market from sharing the Lincoln Mark IV platforn to the mid sized Torino/LTD II platform which tranlated to the best ever selling T-Birds.



I'm Zippyjet & I approve of this message!
User currently offlineMrChips From Canada, joined Mar 2005, 938 posts, RR: 0
Reply 47, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 7872 times:

Quoting cptkrell (Reply 45):
MrChips; I agree with your observation that timing between a product planning decision (let alone the "bubble up" of the design/engineering phase) is still a dreaded several years prior to proof of concept and job 1 prototypes. It used to be a lot worse at the USA companies after implementation of external forces (i.e. a lot of government stuff and other out of the loop concerns). The gap seems to be improving somewhat, but our international competetors still apparently have an edge.

The same external pressures that are slowing things down in the US auto development cycle slow down every other manufacturer in their home countries (or more, if you're talking about an EU-based manufacturer), so blaming it solely on government is a bit of a red herring. The issue is that US manufacturers are simply trying to build too many cars on too many platforms. If you look at the Koreans and (increasingly) the Europeans, they're simplifying their lineups dramatically; not from a model range perspective, but from an engineering perspective. VW, for example, will have three platforms upon which their entire extended model range across all of their brands (something like 250 different models altogether) will be based upon by the end of the decade; one for tranverse-engine cars (MQB), one for longitudinal engine cars (MLB) and a variant of MLB for rear and mid-engined cars. Contrast this with GM, who as of today are building far fewer models worldwide (100 or so) on no fewer than 14 different platforms. It's a simple math equation...250 models, three platforms; or 100 models, 14 platforms - which will make for faster, cheaper model cycles?

Quoting cptkrell (Reply 45):
Additionally I would comment on your last opinion that certain body-on-frame SUVs (Chev Suburbans and GMCs come to mind) are very viable because they are more useful and rugged for their intended purposes. I'm not saying that every purchaser uses them for their designed purpose (more than likley many of the vehicles will see their most severe duty in a WalMart parking lot) but a unibody won't cut it around here for crossing creeks, hauling horse trailers, flatbeds with endloaders aboard, etc.

The only reason why BoF trucks have survived as long as they have is because they are cheap as chips to build, making them very high-margin vehicles (especially when we're talking about an $80,000 Cadillac Escalade) and they're easy as hell to market to a willing public. While I will agree that the current crop of BoF trucks are very tough vehicles, there is really very little need for that kind of over-engineered strength in the average daily use that probably 80% of work trucks and 99% of privately owned trucks would see. I've said for a long time that a unibody truck would better serve the general public (it could also be made to be almost as strong while being much safer and lighter all at once too), and keep the old BoF trucks for commercial users only - most consumers would never be able to tell the difference, as long as the unibody truck was big like a locomotive and aggressive-looking.



Time...to un-pimp...ze auto!
User currently onlineSuperfly From Thailand, joined May 2000, 40065 posts, RR: 74
Reply 48, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 7872 times:

Quoting DL_Mech (Reply 39):
I think the 258 morphed into the 4.0 "power tech six" which was used for decades in countless Cherokees.


Hmmmm, could the transfercase handle that engine? Those were putting out around 200HP towards the end.
Would be cool to fit a diesel engine in one of those Eagles as well.
Perhaps a Jeep Commonrail diesel or a Mercedes 3.5 liter diesel. .

Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 41):
LTD & LTD II



Mustang II, Bronco II.
Any other IIs I'm missing?

Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 41):
At the time, the AMC Hornet was the only domestic compact wagon on the market.



That explains why that was the most popular AMC of the early to mid 70s

Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 41):
Not in the early 70s. If memory serves, AMC started touting galvanized steel on their models during the very late 70s (1979) after the Hornet became the Concord and the Gremlin became the Spirit.



Thanks. I thought it was something they were doing in the 1960s.

Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 41):
The main issue w/the Chevy SSR, Plymouth Prowler and the '02-'05 T-Bird is that these were primarily offered as toys/fun/collector's cars and not everyday daily drivers.



At least the Thunderbird was based off a car that once existed. The SSR was a retro vehicle of a modified truck. It was a hot-rod from the factory. Usually hot-rods are custom jobs by the owner.
The Thunderbird was much more true to it's heritage.

Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 41):
A similar fate might have been in store for the PT Crusier had it rolled out a year or two earlier as a Plymouth as originally planned.



I wish the PT Cruiser was larger - minivan sized. That would have been much closer to the original 1940s design they were going for. Regardless, I'm glad that the model was a success.

Quoting cptkrell (Reply 42):
I still believe that the new Challenger needs a little more upgraded styling flavour.


No, no, no!
It's a perfectly designed car.   



Bring back the Concorde
User currently offlinePHLBOS From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 7557 posts, RR: 23
Reply 49, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 7853 times:

Quoting Superfly (Reply 48):
Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 41):
LTD & LTD II


Mustang II, Bronco II.
Any other IIs I'm missing?

None others that I'm aware of. It's worth noting (I know you know this but for those that are not 100% aware) that unlike the LTD/LTD II & Bronco/Bronco II; the Mustang II was not sold alongside another model bearing the Mustang in the same model year.

Quoting zippyjet (Reply 46):
Actually the LTD II was basically the Torino line carried over but with a sheet metal face-lift. The dash, and other components were literally identical! And the Torino was Ford's midsized line across the board. You had your bare bones models with the depressing thin bench seats all the way up to the Elite. There were even Torino Broughams and Gran Torinos. The T-Bird moved down market from sharing the Lincoln Mark IV platforn to the mid sized Torino/LTD II platform which tranlated to the best ever selling T-Birds.

I am very well aware that the LTD II was, in essense, a mildy restyled Torino. I took my driver's test in my mother's '77 LTD II back in May of 1982.

Like the Torino before it, the LTD II (at least in its first year) had the same basic trim line-up and body style choices (coupe/sedan/wagon). The LTD II S replaced the base Torino, the LTD II replace the Gran Torino and the LTD II Brougham replaced the Gran Torino Brougham. The biggest visual difference was that the LTD II had a longer nose & hood than its Torino predecessor. It was even longer than that of its full-size LTD/Custom 500. It also was the first Fords to feature rectangular headlights (which were still relatively brand new to the market at the time).

Quoting Superfly (Reply 48):
Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 41):
Not in the early 70s. If memory serves, AMC started touting galvanized steel on their models during the very late 70s (1979) after the Hornet became the Concord and the Gremlin became the Spirit.


Thanks. I thought it was something they were doing in the 1960s.

Mind you, I may need to recheck on that. I'm just basing my earlier assumption on TV ads I saw during the late 70s. That's when I, personally, first heard the term galvanized.

Quoting cptkrell (Reply 42):
I still believe that the new Challenger needs a little more upgraded styling flavour.

You might get your wish come 2015. According to one car magazine article a few months ago (I can't remember which one); the Challenger is slated to be replaced with a smaller, lighter, but still RWD car called the Barracuda. It's worth noting that the 70s Plymouth Barracuda was slightly smaller than its original Dodge Challenger cousin of the era.

Quoting MrChips (Reply 43):
Look no further than the body-on-frame SUV; how many of those are still on sale today?

At present & not counting used models, the only domestic body-on-frame SUVs available for 2013 are the full-size Tahoe/Suburban/Yukon/XL/Escalade from GM and the Expedition/EL/Navigator/L models from Ford. The only mid-size body-on-frame SUVs on the market for 2013 are import brands (Toyota 4Runner & Nissan Xterra(?)).

The current Jeep Grand Cherokee/Dodge Durango, although being RWD-based and offering available V8s, feature unitized construction.

Quoting Superfly (Reply 48):
Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 41):
At the time, the AMC Hornet was the only domestic compact wagon on the market.



That explains why that was the most popular AMC of the early to mid 70s

AMC certainly capitalized on such in this 1976 ad. for its Hornet Sportabout wagon (from a Nov. '75 issue of Popular Mechanics):
http://i239.photobucket.com/albums/ff304/meanbuicks/Station%20Wagon%20stuff/1975_Hornet_wagon2-1.jpg


[Edited 2013-01-03 06:31:12]


"TransEastern! You'll feel like you've never left the ground because we treat you like dirt!" SNL Parady ad circa 1981
User currently onlineSuperfly From Thailand, joined May 2000, 40065 posts, RR: 74
Reply 50, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 7840 times:

Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 49):
biggest visual difference was that the LTD II had a longer nose & hood than its Torino predecessor. It was even longer than that of its full-size LTD/Custom 500. It also was the first Fords to feature rectangular headlights (which were still relatively brand new to the market at the time).



If I was evil, I would get a Ford LTD II GT, black with that orangish/reddish large block styled GT stripe. All black interior with the factory rallye wheels, fat racing tires with raised lettering and of course CB with P.A. & speaker mounted behind the front grille.   
...







Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 49):
Mind you, I may need to recheck on that. I'm just basing my earlier assumption on TV ads I saw during the late 70s. That's when I, personally, first heard the term galvanized.


I could be wrong as well. I'm going by what a drunk guy at a bar told me years ago.

Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 49):
At present & not counting used models, the only domestic body-on-frame SUVs available for 2013 are the full-size Tahoe/Suburban/Yukon/XL/Escalade from GM and the Expedition/EL/Navigator/L models from Ford. The only mid-size body-on-frame SUVs on the market for 2013 are import brands (Toyota 4Runner & Nissan Xterra(?)).



What about the M-class and G-class over at Mercedes and the Toyota Landcruiser and Nissan Armada?



Bring back the Concorde
User currently offlineWildcatYXU From Canada, joined May 2006, 2659 posts, RR: 5
Reply 51, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 7836 times:

Quoting MrChips (Reply 43):
(good riddance to those, I might add).

Would you mind to elaborate? Why should be a bloated wagon better than a real SUV? (Pathfinder on Altima platform       )


User currently offlinecptkrell From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 3220 posts, RR: 12
Reply 52, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 7832 times:

RE: MrChips Reply 47; I'm not blaming all the lag on timing on the Fed Government alone. It is a problem, not my red herring, though. And, I should been more specific when I added "other out of the lop concerns". I was thinking of the scores of out of the "product loop" individuals within poorely managed large companies, GM for example) who always get their fingers in the pie and slow things down, create uneccessary delays, want to see their unprofessional ideas come to some sort of fruition, etc. Kind of like a mini federal government (fiscal cliff delays come to mind?).

Case in point, if Orndorff hadn't been promoted to his degree of incompetency (Peter Principle), the SSR would have been a far better vehicle produced within a far quicker time frame and would have probably enjoyed a better acceptance on the personal hot rod landscape. I totally agree with you that U.S. manufacturers are building too many different cars on too many platforms. Again, this is incompetent layers of management. EVERY division manager and EVERY sales manager and EVERY marketing manager and EVERY product planning manager HAS to have "one of those" on his showroom floor. Well, they don't. Really.

One surprising, to me, success against my above opinion though is the Escalade. I thought it was stupid to build a Cadillac "truck" but the sales figures show that was an incompetent opinion (but then I wasn't a product planner or division sales manager, either).

I'll respectfully disagree with you on the pick up/suburban vehicles body-on-frame debate, though. I believe this build-type is needed for HD performance. Because a lot of wifey's want to clog the Kroger lot with them is their problem and a company surely isn't going to stop BoF production methods when people want them and buy them in grossly profitable numbers, even if not for intended concept.

Torino (and other Fords) rectangular headlamps:
I believe I was in the T-Bird studio at the time and all the stylists were going nuts over GM's rectangular headlamps being seen in new-next-year car issues of the mags...
Sez me: "Let's get some for the clay models."
Sez the Exec: " Guide Lamp is a division of GM, they've got a lot of time and dollars spent in designing and getting federalized. I don't think they want to help Ford.""
Sez me: "All they can do is say no."
I blindly called Guide Lamp, told them I was from Ford Styling and we'd appreciate a dimensioned drawing so we could mock-up for our clays. The Guide manager whom I had reached sez: "We'll send you a case of the real things at no charge! Maybe you guys will buy from us!"
So, Ford got their rectangular lights on production vehicles a little sooner.

An aside: Part of the argument to the federal government for approval of a new headlamp shape was that rectagular lights would allow a slightly lower leading edge hood line, a plus for aero, hence eek a tiny bit of mileage. So what does Monte Carlo and Torino (photo in S'Fly's Rep 50) do? Stack them vertically. Uhhh. regards...jack
regards...jack



all best; jack
User currently offlinePHLBOS From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 7557 posts, RR: 23
Reply 53, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 7832 times:

Quoting Superfly (Reply 50):
Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 49):
At present & not counting used models, the only domestic body-on-frame SUVs available for 2013 are the full-size Tahoe/Suburban/Yukon/XL/Escalade from GM and the Expedition/EL/Navigator/L models from Ford. The only mid-size body-on-frame SUVs on the market for 2013 are import brands (Toyota 4Runner & Nissan Xterra(?)).


What about the M-class and G-class over at Mercedes and the Toyota Landcruiser and Nissan Armada?

Last time I checked, Mercedes, Toyota & Nissan aren't domestic (U.S.) brands (see quoted post above w/bold & underlined emphasis added).

Quoting Superfly (Reply 50):
If I was evil, I would get a Ford LTD II GT, black with that orangish/reddish large block styled GT stripe. All black interior with the factory rallye wheels, fat racing tires with raised lettering and of course CB with P.A. & speaker mounted behind the front grille.

Why would one have to evil to own one of those? IIRC, that package became available for the 1978 model year (my '77 LTD II brochure shows no package nor pic.). My '79 LTD II brochure shows a similar pic. The 'S' model trim designation may have been discontinued by then.



"TransEastern! You'll feel like you've never left the ground because we treat you like dirt!" SNL Parady ad circa 1981
User currently onlineSuperfly From Thailand, joined May 2000, 40065 posts, RR: 74
Reply 54, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 7827 times:

Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 53):
Last time I checked, Mercedes, Toyota & Nissan aren't domestic (U.S.) brands (see quoted post above w/bold & underlined emphasis added).


Oooops. 
Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 53):
Why would one have to evil to own one of those?



It looks mean and sinister.   
But I like it.

Quoting cptkrell (Reply 52):
So what does Monte Carlo and Torino (photo in S'Fly's Rep 50) do? Stack them vertically.


I like the vertical stacked headlights. Chrysler did the same with their Cordoba.



Bring back the Concorde
User currently offlinecptkrell From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 3220 posts, RR: 12
Reply 55, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 7826 times:

Hey, Superfly: I didn't say I didn't LIKE them (I do), I just said that stacked headlights went against the argument to the Feds at that time. I thought the canted lights on Buicks, Chryslers and Lincolns were neat, too.

When the Feds got their fingers out of the lighting design pie (don't misunderstand me, the Fed Regs book for exterior lighting was some 150 pages long when I left GM) by specifying performance and placement and not design shapes, things really broke loose. Some of the new stuff is goofy, though. Like I said in an earlier reply, I'm really tired of "smiley face" and "angry face" front ends and headlight shapes contribute a lot to these characters. In design school, an instructor pounded the "form follows function" philosophy and that extended to lighting (ie: light bulbs are round, therefore headlights and tailights should be round). But that was in the 1960's.   ...jack



all best; jack
User currently offlineTSS From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 3070 posts, RR: 5
Reply 56, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 7823 times:

Quoting cptkrell (Reply 52):
An aside: Part of the argument to the federal government for approval of a new headlamp shape was that rectagular lights would allow a slightly lower leading edge hood line, a plus for aero, hence eek a tiny bit of mileage. So what does Monte Carlo and Torino (photo in S'Fly's Rep 50) do? Stack them vertically. Uhhh.

I thought that was a stopgap measure so that the Monte Carlo could continue using the same hood stamping as the '73-'75 models which were slightly domed at the edges relating to the relatively high placement of single round headlights on those cars, and on the LTD IIs so that they could use the existing hood stamping from the Elite which had similarly placed single headlights and faint trailing "pods" stamped into the outer leading edges of the hood.



Able to kill active threads stone dead with a single post!
User currently offlinePHLBOS From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 7557 posts, RR: 23
Reply 57, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 7817 times:

Quoting Superfly (Reply 54):
Quoting cptkrell (Reply 52):
So what does Monte Carlo and Torino (photo in S'Fly's Rep 50) do? Stack them vertically.

If memory serves, in addtion to the Monte Carlo & LTD II (not Torino, those always had quad round); the Chevy Chevelle/Malibu, Buick Century/Regal and the mid-size Plymouth Fury/Dodge Monaco also had vertically-stacked rectangular quads. With the exception of the LTD II, all the others (in the same body style/platform) previously had dual (one per side) round headlights.

The vertical stacking of rectangular headlights, to me, was a throwback to the vertically-stacked round headlights that many cars (mostly mid & full-sizes) offered a decade earlier.

Quoting cptkrell (Reply 55):
When the Feds got their fingers out of the lighting design pie (don't misunderstand me, the Fed Regs book for exterior lighting was some 150 pages long when I left GM) by specifying performance and placement and not design shapes, things really broke loose.

IIRC, the 1984 Lincoln Mark VII was the first domestic vehicle to feature more aerodynamic/composite headlight lenses. An earlier (mid-1983) issue Popular Science featured a preview photo of the Mark VII w/quad rectangular headlights. However, some time between when that photo was taken and when the production Mark VIIs went on sale; the Feds must've relaxed/changed the rules regarding headlight shapes.



"TransEastern! You'll feel like you've never left the ground because we treat you like dirt!" SNL Parady ad circa 1981
User currently offlinecptkrell From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 3220 posts, RR: 12
Reply 58, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 7807 times:

TSS (Rep 56); You might be quite right about the carryover hood stampings.

PHLBOS (Rep 57); And you are right about the '84 Continental MK VII being first with composite headlamp asms; the Feds did ammend their standard #108 in 1983 to allow replacement of bulbs only as per your suggestion.

I have absolutely no problem recognizing that I have the right to be wrong   regards...jack



all best; jack
User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12923 posts, RR: 25
Reply 59, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 7777 times:

Quoting Superfly (Reply 21):
The best retro award should go to the new Dodge Challenger. It's beautiful, practical and priced right.
Quoting cptkrell (Reply 23):
S'Fly; I think the Challenger is TOO retro. I mean when you see one on the road you don't know whether you're looking at vintage or new (unless each is side-by-side at the same time). Even retro flavour should have some "reach" appearance-wise IMHO.

Sorry, but I'm in 'Fly's camp. I like the idea of people thinking it's the original model, yet I don't have to wonder if its plugs/points/condenser etc are all up to snuff, and I don't have to butcher it to put something other than the factory am/fm/8track in it. I'm not an owner, but of all the retro cars, that's the one I would go for.

Some of the other retro cars (thinking mostly Camaro here) seem to me to be comic book caricatures of their older brethren, and that turns me off.



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlinecptkrell From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 3220 posts, RR: 12
Reply 60, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 7759 times:

Revelation and 'Fly; I'm only saying a visual "repop" of the old doesn't equate to creativity in my eye. I can see and accept without argument that youse guys like the Challenger (as I do) but I think the Mustang flavour and the new Camaro do better. And BTW, that's NOT because I worked for both their parent companies during my career.

That's my personal opinion. But hey! Nobody would love to see the resurrection of a PRR GG-1 or a Lockheed L649 Constellation than me ! Guess I'm talking out of both sides of my mouth? regards...jack



all best; jack
User currently onlineSuperfly From Thailand, joined May 2000, 40065 posts, RR: 74
Reply 61, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 7723 times:

Quoting MrChips (Reply 43):
While I understand and appreciate the need (and in fact the desire) to have a car's design evolve over time,



Technically there is no "need" at all to have a car's design evolve over time. The purpose of a car is to get from point A to point B and that has been the main purpose of a car from day 1.

Quoting MrChips (Reply 43):
throwing away the book and going totally retro speaks of a styling department that is just plain out of ideas.



There are plenty of new ideas from car makers that just so happen to have one or two retro cars in their line up.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 59):
I like the idea of people thinking it's the original model, yet I don't have to wonder if its plugs/points/condenser etc are all up to snuff, and I don't have to butcher it to put something other than the factory am/fm/8track in it.



  
Exactly!

Quoting cptkrell (Reply 60):
I'm only saying a visual "repop" of the old doesn't equate to creativity in my eye.



Seeing what has passed as 'creativity' in recent years makes me like the old design of the Challenger even more.  



Bring back the Concorde
User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15828 posts, RR: 27
Reply 62, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 7701 times:

Quoting Superfly (Reply 38):
Not at all. Two different types of buyers.

Some of them, yes. But the Mustang also has its share of middle aged buyers along with the younger folks, and those seemed to be precisely the market of the SSR and Ford Thunderbird.

It seems that the lesson to be learned is that a halo model has to be a real supercar, otherwise it stands a good chance of becoming a slow selling toy like the Thunderbird, Prowler, and SSR. Things like the Corvette ZR-1 and Nissan GTR seem to do better, although the Ford GT fell short of sales targets. (Not sure about financial targets though)

Quoting MrChips (Reply 43):
I'm no fan of the Challenger either - partly because it is so incredibly bland to behold, but mostly because I really don't care for most of this "retro" styling craze that has gripped several automakers (not just American ones either).

My issue with the Challenger is it being big on the outside but smaller on the inside.

Quoting cptkrell (Reply 52):
One surprising, to me, success against my above opinion though is the Escalade. I thought it was stupid to build a Cadillac "truck" but the sales figures show that was an incompetent opinion (but then I wasn't a product planner or division sales manager, either).

The SUVs work pretty well in the luxury market, but I always got the impression that the EXT was a slow seller. Luxury pickup trucks actually do sell, but not as part of the luxury marque. Ford has failed twice with Lincoln pickups, but seem to do well enough selling F-150s at nearly the same prices, as do the other companies.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlinecptkrell From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 3220 posts, RR: 12
Reply 63, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 7691 times:

Superfly (Rep 61) "Technically there's no 'need' at all to have a car's design evolve over time." Hmmm...want to drive a Model A or Stanley Steamer everyday? I didn't like the vacuum activated shift lever in my '47 Pontiac, either.

I get your point though that change for change's sake is sometimes (many times?) counterproductive. You know the old saying "If it ain't broke don't fix it." Speaking of change, I think I'll start a thread on Motor Trend's 2013 Car of the Year. I'm not a big fan of the COTY award, but this is controversial enough to generate some yakety-yak I think. regards...jack



all best; jack
User currently onlineSuperfly From Thailand, joined May 2000, 40065 posts, RR: 74
Reply 64, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 7692 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 62):
SSR and Ford Thunderbird.



Ugh, please stop it!   

I don't like seeing those two in the same sentence.
The Ford Thunderbird is class & sophistication.
The Chevrolet SSR was a pathetic attempt at a retro vehicle that never existed. It's trying to be a modified grease-monkey hickmobile at the price of a Jaguar.
The Thunderbird's problem was timing and the high-reving, tiny 3.9 liter V8 didn't help either. They should have figured a way to shoe in their 4.6 liter or even the 5.4 liter. It probably would have cost less to make and the car would have had more off the line power.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 62):
My issue with the Challenger is it being big on the outside but smaller on the inside.



I've never been in a car that was bigger on the inside and smaller on the outside......

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 62):
The SUVs work pretty well in the luxury market,


Sales wise yes, ride quality no.
No matter how much you dress up an SUV, it will still ride and perform like a truck. It will never be as smooth and luxurious as a ride as a sedan. If GM and Ford had the freedom to make more full-sized sedans without a CAFE penalty, they'd probably make more and the luxury/SUV craze probably would have never happened.



Bring back the Concorde
User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15828 posts, RR: 27
Reply 65, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 7687 times:

Quoting Superfly (Reply 64):
The Thunderbird's problem was timing and the high-reving, tiny 3.9 liter V8 didn't help either. They should have figured a way to shoe in their 4.6 liter or even the 5.4 liter. It probably would have cost less to make and the car would have had more off the line power.

As far as I know, the largest engine used in that platform was the 4.2 liter Jaguar V8 in the S-Type. If you put the bigger engine in there, it again becomes a case of "Why not just go buy a Mustang?"

Quoting Superfly (Reply 64):
I've never been in a car that was bigger on the inside and smaller on the outside......

Not literally. I meant that the Challenger is rather large on the outside and weighs quite a bit, yet doesn't have a ton of interior or cargo room.

Quoting Superfly (Reply 64):
If GM and Ford had the freedom to make more full-sized sedans without a CAFE penalty, they'd probably make more and the luxury/SUV craze probably would have never happened.

That and the gas guzzler tax is what took SUVs from utilitarian work vehicles to everyday family haulers.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently onlineSuperfly From Thailand, joined May 2000, 40065 posts, RR: 74
Reply 66, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 7682 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 65):
As far as I know, the largest engine used in that platform was the 4.2 liter Jaguar V8 in the S-Type. If you put the bigger engine in there, it again becomes a case of "Why not just go buy a Mustang?"




Two different types of buyers. The Thunderbird is style while the Mustang is pure brut power.
Also the extra seats in back of the Mustang means more people will be asking you for rides.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 65):
Not literally.


I know. I was having fun with your comment.  
I may have been to a funhouse at Knott's Berry Farm that had a room bigger on the inside and small on the outside.
But no cars.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 65):
I meant that the Challenger is rather large on the outside and weighs quite a bit, yet doesn't have a ton of interior or cargo room.


Just like the original ones.
That was the case with all cars of that era and space efficiency really didn't start until the late 1970s, early 80s.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 65):
That and the gas guzzler tax is what took SUVs from utilitarian work vehicles to everyday family haulers.


Government at it again trying to save us from ourselves and ended up creating another problem.



Bring back the Concorde
User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15828 posts, RR: 27
Reply 67, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 7667 times:

Quoting Superfly (Reply 66):
Two different types of buyers. The Thunderbird is style while the Mustang is pure brut power.

Probably more so prior to 2005 when the retro Mustangs came out, but that car made the Thunderbird obsolete in most ways.

Quoting Superfly (Reply 66):
Just like the original ones.
That was the case with all cars of that era and space efficiency really didn't start until the late 1970s, early 80s.

Original ones were not as heavy due to the lack of safety equipment and creature comforts. But, if I'm going to have a car that's small inside, I want correspondingly small external dimensions and lack of weight.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently onlineSuperfly From Thailand, joined May 2000, 40065 posts, RR: 74
Reply 68, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 7663 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 68):
Probably more so prior to 2005 when the retro Mustangs came out, but that car made the Thunderbird obsolete in most ways.



Perhaps but Ford's decision to discontinue the Thunderbird was already made before the retro Mustang came out.



Bring back the Concorde
User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15828 posts, RR: 27
Reply 69, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 7661 times:

Quoting Superfly (Reply 68):
Perhaps but Ford's decision to discontinue the Thunderbird was already made before the retro Mustang came out.

Mostly due to the Thunderbird being a toy more than an car with a good value proposition. Everyone who wanted, and could afford, one had one so it went away. Selling cars based almost entirely on styling is hard, and doing it for an extended period of time is even harder.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlinecptkrell From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 3220 posts, RR: 12
Reply 70, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 7653 times:

I ran across a Car & Driver Magazine article entitled "Dishonorable Mention: The Ten Most Embarrassing Award Winners In Automotive History" (CD = Car & Driver; MT = Motor Trend; AM = Automobile Magazine)

In no yearly order...

1983 Renault Alliance (CD)
2002 Thunderbird (MT)
1971 Chev Vega (MT)
1997 Cadillac Catera (AM)
1985 Merkur XR4Ti (CD)
1997 Chev Malibu (MT)
1990 Lincoln Towncar (MT)
1980 Chev Citation (MT)
1995 Ford Contour/Merc Mystique
1974 Mustang (MT)

I was going to start a topic on the MT 2014 Car Of The Year, but it's the Tesla and I found there had been previous threads on this car so I ain't gonna do it.com. regards...jack



all best; jack
User currently offlineTSS From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 3070 posts, RR: 5
Reply 71, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 7649 times:

Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 41):
Quoting cptkrell (Reply 2):
To this day I think the AMC Hornet is cool; very acceptable styling and just a hint of different proportions compared with the "big three" offerings of the era.

   IMHO, the Big-Three missed the boat by not offering wagon versions of their compacts during the early-to-mid 70s. For GM & Ford; there was too much of a gap between their pre-downsized mid-size wagons (Malibu & Torino) and their subcompact bretheren (Vega & Pinto). At the time, the AMC Hornet was the only domestic compact wagon on the market.

Agreed, and the truly sad thing was that the Hornet Sportabout was rather disappointing as a wagon due to it's lumpy load floor and high liftover height caused by it's fuel filler being mounted in the center of the rear panel above the bumper, the same as on the sedans. Prospective Maverick and Nova wagons would have suffered from the same problems since it's highly unlikely Ford or GM would have sprung for different fuel tanks and rear floor stampings on relatively low-volume versions of existing cars. On the other hand Chrysler's Dart/Valiant twins, with their side-fill fuel tanks, flat trunk floors with countersunk spare tires, and trunk lids that extended all the way down to the rear bumper, were practically tailor-made for an inexpensive-to-produce wagon variant that would actually have been useful as a wagon.

At least Ford had sense enough with the Fairmont to take a page out of the Dart/Valiant design book and fit a trunk floor suitable for a station wagon on the coupes and sedans, thereby saving tooling costs and increasing the number of parts shared by all versions.



Able to kill active threads stone dead with a single post!
User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15828 posts, RR: 27
Reply 72, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 7647 times:

Quoting cptkrell (Reply 70):
but it's the Tesla and I found there had been previous threads on this car so I ain't gonna do it.com

The Model S is a nicer car in my opinion than the Fisker Karma. Fisker has had some problems lately with recalls and their battery supplier going out of business. The car is good looking, although the grill is odd and it is heavy. I've not had the chance to sit in one, but I wonder if the interior space is good with the battery running down the center.

The Tesla Model S is a much more practical and affordable package, but I'm not convinced it's necessarily better overall than a traditional mid-level luxury sedan. I do feel bad for Tesla in their fight with dealer associations and hope they eventually come out on top.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlinePHLBOS From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 7557 posts, RR: 23
Reply 73, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 7613 times:

Quoting cptkrell (Reply 70):
1983 Renault Alliance (CD)

I believe that award came from Motor Trend (MT). I had a subscription w/the magazine at the time and remember reading several rebuke letters from readers in subsequent issues. The main reason for the rebukes was that it was awarded as a 'domestic' model rather than an 'import'. Back then, Motor Trend still had separate COTY tests for domestic & import brands. Because the car was marketed as the AMC/Renault Alliance; it certainly created a 'gray area' at the time.

Its reliability issues would start showing up sometime later.

As far as the other choices in C&D's dishonor list is concerned (I will only list the ones that I agree or disagree w/C&D on):

Quoting cptkrell (Reply 70):
2002 Thunderbird (MT)

Disagree (w/C&D).

Quoting cptkrell (Reply 70):
1971 Chev Vega (MT)

Agree.

Quoting cptkrell (Reply 70):
1990 Lincoln Towncar (MT)

Strongly disagree. Maybe C&D was ticked because the Golden Calipers was actually awarded to a vehicle that went against the grain of most auto magazine writers... a full-size RWD sedan. The previous full-size car to receive MT's COTY award was the then-newly downsized 1977 Chevy Caprice.

Quoting cptkrell (Reply 70):
1980 Chev Citation (MT)

Agree. A classic example of how not to introduce a completely new model; rushing it into production in a knee-jerk fashion. The FWD X-car was originally intended to be launched as a 1979 model (Popular Science article from the Spring of 1978) but it was decided to be released a year later as a 1980 model. However, when gas prices jumped (and long lines at the pump emerged); the cars were ultimately released some 6 months earlier. Ralph Nader was already attacking the car a week before it came on sale.

Maybe Chevy's naming their model after an Edsel (the Citation) gave a hint of forboding.

Quoting cptkrell (Reply 70):
1995 Ford Contour/Merc Mystique

Disagree. The only issue w/these cars was the rear-seat room (which is no worse than many of today's cars). They were much better overall cars than their Tempo/Topaz predecessors.

Quoting cptkrell (Reply 70):
1974 Mustang (MT)

Actually Mustang II. Disagree. While it may not have been in the same league as previous (and later successor) Mustangs; the car represented what the public was looking for back then; a small, sporty car that was easy and relatively cheap to own. The timing of its release worked in Ford's favor (gas prices going up and every car w/4-cylinders flying off the lots saleswise).

The later distaste for the car (mainly for its being too small) summed up what a GM chairman (I forget the individual's name) stated back then, "Small cars are like vodka; people will try them but they won't necessarily stay w/them."

IMHO, similar could be stated today. Most people will only go small (in terms of car purchases) when they have to; not necessarily because they want to. Case & point: I've known 2 to 3 people who replaced their Toyota Corollas with small SUVs (RAV4 & Outlander) because they wanted a vehicle with more room.



"TransEastern! You'll feel like you've never left the ground because we treat you like dirt!" SNL Parady ad circa 1981
User currently offlinePolot From United States of America, joined Jul 2011, 2359 posts, RR: 1
Reply 74, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 7604 times:

Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 73):
Agree. A classic example of how not to introduce a completely new model; rushing it into production in a knee-jerk fashion. The FWD X-car was originally intended to be launched as a 1979 model (Popular Science article from the Spring of 1978) but it was decided to be released a year later as a 1980 model. However, when gas prices jumped (and long lines at the pump emerged); the cars were ultimately released some 6 months earlier. Ralph Nader was already attacking the car a week before it came on sale.

The sad part is this is a lesson that Chevy didn't learn. They did of course make the same exact mistake with the current generation Malibu, bringing it to the market 6 months early (with only the Eco model, as the other engines were not ready yet) and completely blotching the launch of the car that they are now scrambling to fix. Granted most of the blame lies with Dan Akerson, who really has no clue on what he is doing as GM's CEO, and most of the Malibu's issues would still be present even if it wasn't pulled forward (such as the puzzling decision to make the Malibu smaller, and thus worse against the competition in a market segment where interior room matters, in order to give the Impala more breathing room) but this decision made the the already mediocre car land with a thud in the marketplace. Which is a shame because the last gen Malibu had so much potential.


User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12923 posts, RR: 25
Reply 75, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 7600 times:

Quoting Superfly (Reply 61):
Seeing what has passed as 'creativity' in recent years makes me like the old design of the Challenger even more.

Agree.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 62):
It seems that the lesson to be learned is that a halo model has to be a real supercar, otherwise it stands a good chance of becoming a slow selling toy like the Thunderbird, Prowler, and SSR

I never viewed the Thunderbird as a halo car, but maybe that's just me.

Quoting cptkrell (Reply 63):
Superfly (Rep 61) "Technically there's no 'need' at all to have a car's design evolve over time." Hmmm...want to drive a Model A or Stanley Steamer everyday? I didn't like the vacuum activated shift lever in my '47 Pontiac, either.

I think he meant styling rather than design.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 65):
If you put the bigger engine in there, it again becomes a case of "Why not just go buy a Mustang?"

I think the T-bird crowd Ford was going for would like something more upscale looking than a Mustang, and some indeed would find a high-revving engine to be too noisy for their tastes.



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlinePolot From United States of America, joined Jul 2011, 2359 posts, RR: 1
Reply 76, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 7598 times:

Quoting Revelation (Reply 75):
I think he meant styling rather than design.

The problem with not evolving styling is that eventually who likes the style gets one, and people who initially loved the styling start to get tired of it. Then sales of the car tank.


User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15828 posts, RR: 27
Reply 77, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 7555 times:

Quoting Revelation (Reply 75):
I never viewed the Thunderbird as a halo car, but maybe that's just me.

"Halo model" has many different definitions. By some measures you could consider the Volt to be Chevy's halo model, since it generates publicity and gets people onto dealer lots just to see it. The Corvette is more expensive but sells year after year, generation after generation so it's more of a key part of the lineup than a "Hey look at what Chevy can do" halo car.

I would consider the Thunderbird a halo model for Ford. It was never going to sell in huge numbers and was based mostly on style while not being especially competitively priced.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlinecptkrell From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 3220 posts, RR: 12
Reply 78, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 7553 times:

PHLBOS (Rep 73); The Alliance did indeed get the award from C&D. Car & Driver formally apologizes in print and also states "The car is trash." Now we know how they really feel.

Polot (rep 74); about the Chev Citation (GM X-car). For what ever reason I bought my (ex)wife an Oldsmobile version and we never had one iota of a problem with the vehicle. For some 5 or so years. I know this is anecdotal, but WE had real good service with the car. Hmmm, I bought my X-wife an X-car. But the CAR worked.

Revelation's (rep 75); " I think he ('Fly) meant styling not design." Probably. I still get pissed off that the PC management crowd changed "styling" to "design". More professional terminology? I still have my old Ford Styling security pass. I still have my old GM Design security pass. I like the old Ford 'styling' term better and the even older GM 'styling' term better, too. ("hey goober, what do you design? Window handles and radio dials and stuff?" Or, "hey, I don't know nuthin' about design, but that car's got nice lines.") Inside MoTown joke.

BM727 (re 72); "Tesla Model S is a much more practical and affordable package". Practical, yes. Affordable? that, too. With the base sedan going for US $59,000. But, the performance sedan w/ 85-kW-hr motor at $108,000, I wonder. These dollars are list, BTW before tax credits. HOWEVER...

Tesla anticipates only 100 charging stations nationwide by the year 2015; not too reassuring unless you're just going to tool around the LA basin with an occassional squirt between there and San Francisco or Vegas.

Also allow me to be a pessimist. Iv'e seen these movies before and none of them have a good ending. To wit; Bricklin, DeLorean, Vector, Corbin, Aptera, etc. I hope Mr. Musk all best luck; he (they) will need it, but you know the old American Airlines advertising on TV "Luck is for rabbits". Kind regards...jack
P,S., if there are lot of edits on this post it's Jack Daniels fault, not jack's



all best; jack
User currently offlinezippyjet From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 5533 posts, RR: 13
Reply 79, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 7520 times:

Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 73):
Agree. A classic example of how not to introduce a completely new model; rushing it into production in a knee-jerk fashion. The FWD X-car was originally intended to be launched as a 1979 model (Popular Science article from the Spring of 1978) but it was decided to be released a year later as a 1980 model. However, when gas prices jumped (and long lines at the pump emerged); the cars were ultimately released some 6 months earlier. Ralph Nader was already attacking the car a week before it came on sale.

Maybe Chevy's naming their model after an Edsel (the Citation) gave a hint of forboding.

However all the GM "X" cars were flying off the dealer lots especially late 1979, 1980 and into 1981. The Citation though the Edsel also had a Citation model sold the most of all the various X cars.

Though a little off topic, I specifically remember when the "J" cars (GM's new subcompact FWD cars including the Cavalier and the now laughable Cimmaron) came out. Motor Trend had a cover story entitled Japan Fighters! And they even had a guy dressed as a high tech Samurai on the cover. Again, the Cavalier sold like hotcakes but was still behind the imports from Japan all around.

Quoting TSS (Reply 71):

Besides Ford coming out with a compact sized wagon Fairmont for 1978, the much maligned and made fun of Plymouth Volare and Dodge Aspen actually had them two years earlier for 1976. A lot of those two models were on the streets back then. Actually when the Aspen and Volare came out, they felt solid, sturdier and better comfort over the Dodge Dart/Plymouth Valliant they replaced.

How would Ford have done with a station wagon version of their Granada/Monarch's that came out for model year 1975? I'm surprised Ford missed that one. The Granada/Monarch seemed more substantial over the Maverik it replaced. Sort of a similar situation to Chrysler back then but there was no wagon till the Fox platform and Fairmont came out in 1978.



I'm Zippyjet & I approve of this message!
User currently offlineTSS From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 3070 posts, RR: 5
Reply 80, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 7514 times:

Quoting zippyjet (Reply 79):
Besides Ford coming out with a compact sized wagon Fairmont for 1978, the much maligned and made fun of Plymouth Volare and Dodge Aspen actually had them two years earlier for 1976.

Quite true, and from a purely wagon utility standpoint the Aspen/Volare twins were very well designed with a flat load floor and two decent-sized built-in storage bins plus some extra room around the spare tire.

Quoting zippyjet (Reply 79):
A lot of those two models were on the streets back then. Actually when the Aspen and Volare came out, they felt solid, sturdier and better comfort over the Dodge Dart/Plymouth Valliant they replaced.

Also true. The Aspen/Volare twins offered many tangible improvements over the cars they replaced, but one feature of the Dart/Valiant they were lacking was near-bulletproof reliability.

Quoting zippyjet (Reply 79):
How would Ford have done with a station wagon version of their Granada/Monarch's that came out for model year 1975? I'm surprised Ford missed that one.

A Granada/Monarch wagon would have been quite attractive, no doubt, but like the Maverick/Comet an entirely new trunk floor and fuel tank would have been necessary to make them useful as wagons.



Able to kill active threads stone dead with a single post!
User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15828 posts, RR: 27
Reply 81, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 7514 times:

Quoting cptkrell (Reply 78):
Tesla anticipates only 100 charging stations nationwide by the year 2015; not too reassuring unless you're just going to tool around the LA basin with an occassional squirt between there and San Francisco or Vegas.

That's what keeps electric cars from being really mainstream, but you have to figure that Model S buyers almost certainly have a second car they can use for extended trips. I'd wager that almost no Tesla owners have one as their sole car.

Quoting zippyjet (Reply 79):
However all the GM "X" cars were flying off the dealer lots especially late 1979, 1980 and into 1981. The Citation though the Edsel also had a Citation model sold the most of all the various X cars.

That's part of why defining worst cars is kind of difficult. There are some truly bad cars that sold very well, and some rather good cars that just didn't catch on for one reason or another. The Tucker Torpedo is one example, although I want to say there are some corporate conspiracy theories surrounding that.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently onlineSuperfly From Thailand, joined May 2000, 40065 posts, RR: 74
Reply 82, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 7500 times:

Quoting cptkrell (Reply 78):
For what ever reason I bought my (ex)wife an Oldsmobile version and we never had one iota of a problem with the vehicle.

Would have made more sense to buy it for her AFTER the divorce. I doubt you two fought over that car in court.  
Quoting cptkrell (Reply 78):
" I think he ('Fly) meant styling not design." Probably. I still get pissed off that the PC management crowd changed "styling" to "design". More professional terminology?

  
Yes, I agree.

Quoting cptkrell (Reply 78):
if there are lot of edits on this post it's Jack Daniels fault, not jack's

LOL!   



Bring back the Concorde
User currently offlineTSS From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 3070 posts, RR: 5
Reply 83, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 7502 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 81):
That's part of why defining worst cars is kind of difficult. There are some truly bad cars that sold very well, and some rather good cars that just didn't catch on for one reason or another. The Tucker Torpedo is one example, although I want to say there are some corporate conspiracy theories surrounding that.

Oh, now there's one: The Tucker Torpedo- Grossly under-capitalized and wildly over-hyped. Granted, they were a very cool concept with some clever features, but even if Preston Tucker had been able to get production into full swing (a huge "IF" ), the fact remains that he had only one body style to sell and the styling that looked so futuristic in 1948 would have been hopelessly old-fashioned by 1953.



Able to kill active threads stone dead with a single post!
User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15828 posts, RR: 27
Reply 84, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 7492 times:

Quoting TSS (Reply 83):
The Tucker Torpedo- Grossly under-capitalized and wildly over-hyped. Granted, they were a very cool concept with some clever features, but even if Preston Tucker had been able to get production into full swing (a huge "IF" ), the fact remains that he had only one body style to sell and the styling that looked so futuristic in 1948 would have been hopelessly old-fashioned by 1953.

The Tucker was a car with great potential brought down by mismanagement and shady business practices. Things like having the original engine not work, so finding a suitable replacement, then buying the company and moving them completely away from their relatively successful and established business to supply the car sealed the Tucker's fate.

Unlike some really bad cars, which were just awful and pointless, the Tucker is a model that could have been great had the company not run out of money before the potential was realized.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12923 posts, RR: 25
Reply 85, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 7475 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 81):
That's what keeps electric cars from being really mainstream, but you have to figure that Model S buyers almost certainly have a second car they can use for extended trips. I'd wager that almost no Tesla owners have one as their sole car.

Probably true at this point in time because the ones getting them now are the true believers who could afford to put down deposits a long time ago.

I'm in the wait-and-see crowd, but if/when I get one, it will be my only car. I really do not do any extended driving. Almost anything further than the airport is done by plane. If I ever needed to go for an extended drive, I'd just rent a car, which is pretty darn cheap, and not at all likely to happen often.

To me, the up side of having a vehicle without an ICE and with an incredibly low maintenance profile is a huge upside. As above, I'll wait-and-see if it all pans out, but I like what I see so far, and it seems Tesla has the staying power to give the experiment a good long run. Note Musk himself says it may all go t*ts up, so there is realism in the management chain.



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlinecptkrell From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 3220 posts, RR: 12
Reply 86, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 7476 times:

Quoting Zippyjet (Rep 79): "How would Ford have done with a station wagon version of their Granada/Monarch..."

Quoting TSS (Rep 80) "A Granada/Monarch wagon would have been quite attractive...an entirely new trunk and floor (required)..."

Someplace in a storage box I have a couple of photos of a full size di-nocked (painted decal) and fully detailed clay model of the Granada wagon proposal. It WAS quite nice. The product planners even refrained from phoney wood side treatments! And TSS is spot-on; new rear underbody panels and quarter inners rein'f for lift gate was the biggest cost problem (in tooling and engineering, not piece price, IIRC). Not to mention a tepid-thinking marketing planning staff.

BTW, marketing planning used a word-search type early computer to help name the Granada. They were looking something that portrayed world class, strong, stout and well-built, powerful, very teutonic, etc. The computer kept spitting out "Bismark".



all best; jack
User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12923 posts, RR: 25
Reply 87, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 7471 times:

Quoting cptkrell (Reply 86):
The product planners even refrained from phoney wood side treatments!

Careful, now, one of the participants in this thread is quite fond of such things!



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlinecptkrell From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 3220 posts, RR: 12
Reply 88, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 7468 times:

Quote from Revelation: "Careful, now, one of the participants in this thread is quite fond of such things!"

Ooops, and he's my buddy, too! Sorry, 'Fly  



all best; jack
User currently onlineSuperfly From Thailand, joined May 2000, 40065 posts, RR: 74
Reply 89, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 7466 times:

Quoting cptkrell (Reply 86):
The product planners even refrained from phoney wood side treatments!

Hey watch it!   

Quoting Revelation (Reply 87):
Careful, now, one of the participants in this thread is quite fond of such things!

   



Bring back the Concorde
User currently offlineJoeCanuck From Canada, joined exactly 9 years ago today! , 5478 posts, RR: 31
Reply 90, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 7445 times:

Quoting Revelation (Reply 87):

Pick me...! I'd take a LeBaron woody wagon or convertible in a heartbeat. K-Car forever...!



What the...?
User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12923 posts, RR: 25
Reply 91, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 7421 times:

Quoting JoeCanuck (Reply 90):
Pick me...! I'd take a LeBaron woody wagon or convertible in a heartbeat. K-Car forever...!

I guess there's more than one here with Wood Panel Fever! 



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlineTSS From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 3070 posts, RR: 5
Reply 92, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 7408 times:

Quoting Revelation (Reply 91):
I guess there's more than one here with Wood Panel Fever! :D

Make that three of us. I like wood grain trim on wagons. I even like it on the late sixties Chrysler Newport and Mercury Park Lane coupes and convertibles.

1968 Chrysler Newport convertible with "Sports Grain"-


1968 Mercury Park Lane convertible with wood grain-



Able to kill active threads stone dead with a single post!
User currently offlinecptkrell From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 3220 posts, RR: 12
Reply 93, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 7405 times:

T S S; For Chrysler and Mercury woody convertibles, the 1946 Chrysler Town and Country and the '46 Mercury Sportsman had REAL maple or birch trimming with mahogany inlays! Now that's cool. kind regards...jack


all best; jack
User currently offlineTSS From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 3070 posts, RR: 5
Reply 94, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 7400 times:

Quoting cptkrell (Reply 93):
For Chrysler and Mercury woody convertibles, the 1946 Chrysler Town and Country and the '46 Mercury Sportsman had REAL maple or birch trimming with mahogany inlays! Now that's cool.

Cool without a doubt, but I suspect the maintenance required on actual wood exposed to the elements like that was no fun.



Able to kill active threads stone dead with a single post!
User currently onlineSuperfly From Thailand, joined May 2000, 40065 posts, RR: 74
Reply 95, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 7403 times:

Quoting JoeCanuck (Reply 90):
I'd take a LeBaron woody wagon or convertible in a heartbeat. K-Car forever...!


I almost bought one until I found a deal on the 1987 model - the first year of the aerodynamic look with concealed headlight.
The best year for the Woodie Lebarons is 1986. It had the more powerful 146HP turbo.
1984-1985 turbo was only 135HP.
1983 had no turbo at all and no rear quarter panel window which creates a huge blind spot when the top is up.
1982 had no wood.

Quoting TSS (Reply 92):
Mercury Park Lane coupes and convertibles.



We would have to fight for it. Only 12 were build.  
I started a thread about one for sale on ebay and they were asking $59,000,000 for it. They never got that but I regret not saving all 20 photos of the car. It was in mint condition with only 800 miles on it.



Bring back the Concorde
User currently offlineWildcatYXU From Canada, joined May 2006, 2659 posts, RR: 5
Reply 96, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 7393 times:

Quoting Superfly (Reply 95):
I started a thread about one for sale on ebay and they were asking $59,000,000 for it. They never got that

Well, not surprising. According to this:

http://www.popularmechanics.com/cars...-cars-ever-sold-at-auction#slide-1

This amount would buy three '57 Ferrari Testa Rossa's and the buyer still would have $ 10 mil spending money.


User currently offlinezippyjet From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 5533 posts, RR: 13
Reply 97, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 7389 times:

Quoting Revelation (Reply 87):

Make that 2 of us! Fly and your's truly. My aunt had two Ford Country Squire Wagons, a 1963 white with red interior and a 1969 squire with all the options but that one was the fugly military olive green which did not do justice to the car's lines.

My dad drove a 1967 White Country Squire with blue interior and our first car with Air Conditioning. HIs second Country Squire was a 1969 model in the powder light blue with blue interior. Ford wagons even the Pintos and Falcolns looked much spiffier with the wood or imitation wood grain siding!

Correction Fly and myself are not alone!   

Some of you may laugh or hurl but I felt Ford should have made a Country Squire version of their Taurus. Even the strange second generation ovoid monster. Wood panneling just may have nipped the big obnoxious fugly SUV craze in the bud or at least held it at bay for several years!



I'm Zippyjet & I approve of this message!
User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15828 posts, RR: 27
Reply 98, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 7339 times:

A Jalopnik article today gave me another Worst Car entry for the "Good Ideas Executed Horribly" category.

Just think how great it would be to have a car with four doors, luxury features, rear wheel drive, V8, and a useful hatchback body style. Great idea. So, Audi A7? Porsche Panamera?

Or it's a Rover 3500. All of those attributes lose their luster when it turns out that it was poorly built and the V8 was designed about two decades beforehand and produced about 133 horsepower.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlinecptkrell From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 3220 posts, RR: 12
Reply 99, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 7329 times:

Ummmm...Superfly (rep 95):

I think you probably meant 59 thousand dollars, not 59 MILLION dollars?

Priciest car on record is at Pebble Beach. 1957 Ferrari Testa Rossa at (only) 16.4 million dollars US. Without wood sides, I might mention.   ...jack



all best; jack
User currently onlineSuperfly From Thailand, joined May 2000, 40065 posts, RR: 74
Reply 100, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 7325 times:

Quoting cptkrell (Reply 99):
Ummmm...Superfly (rep 95):

I think you probably meant 59 thousand dollars, not 59 MILLION dollars?



 Embarrassment
Ooops!

Quoting zippyjet (Reply 97):
My aunt had two Ford Country Squire Wagons, a 1963 white with red interior and a 1969 squire with all the options but that one was the fugly military olive green which did not do justice to the car's lines.

My dad drove a 1967 White Country Squire with blue interior and our first car with Air Conditioning. HIs second Country Squire was a 1969 model in the powder light blue with blue interior. Ford wagons even the Pintos and Falcolns looked much spiffier with the wood or imitation wood grain siding!



We never had a car with wood side panelling.  
I was so jealous of the other kids being dropped of at school in large station wagons with wood side panelling.

[Edited 2013-01-07 00:05:47]


Bring back the Concorde
User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15828 posts, RR: 27
Reply 101, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 7322 times:

Quoting cptkrell (Reply 99):
I think you probably meant 59 thousand dollars, not 59 MILLION dollars?

Still, $59,000 could buy you a Ferrari 308 and and a scheduled maintenance visit for it...maybe.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently onlineSuperfly From Thailand, joined May 2000, 40065 posts, RR: 74
Reply 102, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 7325 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 101):
Still, $59,000 could buy you a Ferrari 308 and and a scheduled maintenance visit for it...maybe.



The Ferrari is too cliche and every 12 year old's dream.
I'd rather have the 1968 Mercury Park Lane convertible with Colony Park side panelling.
This speaks class and independence.  
...

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v416/Superfly8track/1968MercuryParkLane.jpg



Bring back the Concorde
User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15828 posts, RR: 27
Reply 103, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 7319 times:

Quoting Superfly (Reply 102):
The Ferrari is too cliche and every 12 year old's dream.

Well, yeah. If you're over the age of 12 you should know that the 308 sucked and half the rental cars on Oahu could run rings around Magnum.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12923 posts, RR: 25
Reply 104, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 7302 times:

Quoting Superfly (Reply 95):
1982 had no wood.

Speak for yourself!  
Quoting cptkrell (Reply 99):
Priciest car on record is at Pebble Beach. 1957 Ferrari Testa Rossa at (only) 16.4 million dollars US. Without wood sides, I might mention.

Seems my dad didn't go for the wood sides either:

http://www.airliners.net/photos/misc/uf/11785/phpkC45yS.jpeg

Family photo from 1975, me in center with much blonder hair and wearing glasses as always!

Interestingly enough, I ended up taller than everyone in the photo, including my older brother!

Guess mom and dad fed me well...

Fast forward to 1996 when I bought a Ford Explorer in that same color, sans 'Eddie Bauer' trim. I was driving it home when I had flashbacks to that 70s station wagon, and realized that the apple really doesn't fall too far from the tree...



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlinePHLBOS From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 7557 posts, RR: 23
Reply 105, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 7302 times:

Quoting cptkrell (Reply 78):
For what ever reason I bought my (ex)wife an Oldsmobile version and we never had one iota of a problem with the vehicle.

The Omega; like many who might gotten a lemon (which can be true for any car), your ex obviuosly got one that was "Le creme de le creme" so to speak.

Quoting zippyjet (Reply 97):
Ford should have made a Country Squire version of their Taurus.

In the movie National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, one early scene indeed features a wood-paneled Taurus wagon driven by Clark Griswald (Chevy Chase).

Quoting zippyjet (Reply 79):
However all the GM "X" cars were flying off the dealer lots especially late 1979, 1980 and into 1981.

Sold well initially, yes; but many of those were later traded in for imports shortly thereafter. To this day, I've known many who will not buy a GM (or even domestic brand for that matter) because of the supposed bad experience they had w/their X-cars. The sad thing was that by 1984, despite GM having debugged the X-body by then; nobody wanted anything to do w/those cars. As a result, the platform was killed off after 1985 and the compact duties were passed over to the then-new N-bodies. It's worth noting that the similar-based FWD A-bodies (that rolled out 2 years later) would soldier on into the mid-90s.

Quoting zippyjet (Reply 79):
However all the GM "X" cars were flying off the dealer lots especially late 1979, 1980 and into 1981. The Citation though the Edsel also had a Citation model sold the most of all the various X cars.

Though a little off topic, I specifically remember when the "J" cars (GM's new subcompact FWD cars including the Cavalier and the now laughable Cimmaron) came out. Motor Trend had a cover story entitled Japan Fighters! And they even had a guy dressed as a high tech Samurai on the cover. Again, the Cavalier sold like hotcakes but was still behind the imports from Japan all around.

I remember that cover too; and, again, you have to remember that gas prices at the time were still a bit high when the J-cars first rolled out in early 1981 (as '82 models) so anything that was new, small & had 4-cylinders was selling.

Quoting zippyjet (Reply 79):
the much maligned and made fun of Plymouth Volare and Dodge Aspen actually had them two years earlier for 1976

As a kid, I saw those wagons all over the place when they first came out. Despite being maligned (for recalls), those cars were a sales hit and the platform (sans the wagons) lived on through the end of the 80s (as the M-bodied Gran Fury, Diplomat & Fifth Avenue).

Quoting TSS (Reply 92):
Quoting Revelation (Reply 91):
I guess there's more than one here with Wood Panel Fever! 

Make that three of us. I like wood grain trim on wagons.

Make that four. I always liked the simulated woodgrain look on wagons. The only problem was that, in most instances, such required buying the top-of-line/loaded model. Although Ford, did offer the Squire option on its base level Ranch Wagon (Custom/Custom 500) models for 1969 & 1970. Note: the opening credits of the 70s sitcom Alice (1st & 2nd season) features shots of a white '69 Ranch Wagon w/the Squire option... the scenes where Alice (Linda Lavin) aims a fire extinguisher at the engine and when the wagon's being towed. The '69 Country Squire (w/its colored-keyed center grille trim missing) shot at the very beginning of the credits (shown in all but the final season) is actually from the movie Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore that TV series is based on.



"TransEastern! You'll feel like you've never left the ground because we treat you like dirt!" SNL Parady ad circa 1981
User currently onlineSuperfly From Thailand, joined May 2000, 40065 posts, RR: 74
Reply 106, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 7290 times:

Quoting Revelation (Reply 104):
Speak for yourself!

I was only 9 in 1982. I would have to wait about 3 years before I turned in to a naught boy.  
Quoting Revelation (Reply 104):
Seems my dad didn't go for the wood sides either:

Dude! Does your father still have that shirt?
It's groovy! I'll buy it from you if it's still around.



Bring back the Concorde
User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12923 posts, RR: 25
Reply 107, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 7276 times:

Quoting Superfly (Reply 106):
Dude! Does your father still have that shirt?
It's groovy! I'll buy it from you if it's still around.

Glad you enjoyed it, but sadly neither dad nor the shirt are around any more.
He passed in 1998 aged 59.9 years, a week away from the day he planned to retire at age 60.
Hopefully he's resting in peace, it seems to me he wasn't able to find much peace when he was alive.
Sure wished he at least got to enjoy a bit of retirement before he passed.
Worked for the better part of forty years in the same putrid chemical factory.
Only justice was that his passing was quick.
He had a massive heart attack and the doc said he probably only felt it for a second or so.
I suppose there are worse ways to go...



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlinePHLBOS From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 7557 posts, RR: 23
Reply 108, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 7271 times:

Quoting Revelation (Reply 104):

Looks like a '71 or '72 Country Sedan, which had the Galaxie 500 trim. The white wagon in the background looks to be either '62 or '63 Chevy Brookwood (Biscayne) or Townsman (BelAir) wagon.



"TransEastern! You'll feel like you've never left the ground because we treat you like dirt!" SNL Parady ad circa 1981
User currently offlineTSS From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 3070 posts, RR: 5
Reply 109, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 7271 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 101):
Quoting cptkrell (Reply 99):
I think you probably meant 59 thousand dollars, not 59 MILLION dollars?

Still, $59,000 could buy you a Ferrari 308 and and a scheduled maintenance visit for it...maybe.

Since Ferrari 308s are hardly rare as Ferraris go, $59,000 could probably get you a decent example, a parts car, and a scheduled maintenance visit.

With regard to the '68 Park Lane, though, asking is not the same as getting and no '68 Park Lane is worth $59,000, not even an as-new convertible with only 700 miles on it, because no matter how perfect it is, it's still a '68 Mercury Park Lane: a perfectly nice but otherwise unremarkable full-size American car that wasn't particularly popular even when it was new. Sure, I like them and 'Fly likes them, but 'Fly and I are way out on the fringe of car fandom and our tastes do not reflect those of mainstream antique car buyers.

Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 108):
Looks like a '71 or '72 Country Sedan, which had the Galaxie 500 trim. The white wagon in the background looks to be either '62 or '63 Chevy Brookwood (Biscayne) or Townsman (BelAir) wagon.

The Ford is a '71 (dip in front bumper under center grille section), the Chevrolet is a '63 (round tail lights and horizontal side character lines- '62s had inclined front-to-rear character lines and '64s had rectangular tail lights).



Able to kill active threads stone dead with a single post!
User currently onlineSuperfly From Thailand, joined May 2000, 40065 posts, RR: 74
Reply 110, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 7267 times:

Quoting Revelation (Reply 107):
sadly neither dad nor the shirt are around any more.
He passed in 1998 aged 59.9 years, a week away from the day he planned to retire at age 60.
Hopefully he's resting in peace, it seems to me he wasn't able to find much peace when he was alive.
Sure wished he at least got to enjoy a bit of retirement before he passed.
Worked for the better part of forty years in the same putrid chemical factory.
Only justice was that his passing was quick.
He had a massive heart attack and the doc said he probably only felt it for a second or so.
I suppose there are worse ways to go...

I'm so sorry to hear about that. Not just his passing but the hard life he seemed to live. He seems to have raised you well so we can take solace in that.

Quoting TSS (Reply 109):
With regard to the '68 Park Lane, though, asking is not the same as getting and no '68 Park Lane is worth $59,000, not even an as-new convertible with only 700 miles on it, because no matter how perfect it is, it's still a '68 Mercury Park Lane: a perfectly nice but otherwise unremarkable full-size American car that wasn't particularly popular even when it was new. Sure, I like them and 'Fly likes them, but 'Fly and I are way out on the fringe of car fandom and our tastes do not reflect those of mainstream antique car buyers.

You are ccorrect. Perhaps the seller was hoping Jay Leno or Reggie Jackson were surfing ebay that week. They tend to like cars that aren't universally loved. Or it could have been that his wife wanted him to sell it so he placed a really high price that no one would pay. I remember a guy in San Francisco was selling his 1978 Ford Thunderbird Diamond Jubilee Edition for $11,000. It was in good condition but it certianly wasn't worth $11,000. I can tell he really loved that car and it never sold.



Bring back the Concorde
User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12923 posts, RR: 25
Reply 111, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 7259 times:

Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 108):
Looks like a '71 or '72 Country Sedan, which had the Galaxie 500 trim.

Thanks for the clarification. I zoomed the original earlier and you I couldn't exactly make out what the emblem said on the rear quarter panel, but now I agree it is "Country Sedan", and I do remember seeing "Galaxie 500" somewhere else on the car.

Wiki lists the engine choices for the 59-72 era as:

302 cu in (4.9 L) Windsor V8
351 cu in (5.8 L) Windsor V8
390 cu in (6.4 L) FE V8
429 cu in (7.0 L) 385 V8
400 cu in (6.6 L) Cleveland V8
460 cu in (7.5 L) 385 V8
351 cu in (5.8 L) 351M/351 Cleveland V8

My best recollection was that it had the 400, but I'll have to ask my older brother, since he was/is a big time auto buff.

I do know it went like hell, especially with just me and dad in it.

Quoting Superfly (Reply 110):

I'm so sorry to hear about that. Not just his passing but the hard life he seemed to live. He seems to have raised you well so we can take solace in that.

Thank you so much!  



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlinenickh From United States of America, joined Jun 2008, 221 posts, RR: 0
Reply 112, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 7256 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 101):
Still, $59,000 could buy you a Ferrari 308 and and a scheduled maintenance visit for it...maybe.

Ferrari 308s (sexy), 328s and 348s are dirt cheap on the used market, if you know where to look for a well maintained example.

Back in the early 1990s, I almost bought a used grey Ferrari 308 GTSi Quattrovalvole - I forget the model year, but it was well maintained, low miles - Fuel Injected, as opposed to the older models with dual Weber Carbs - the private owner was asking $15,000 for it, which I thought was cheap, but then when we got to talking about it, he mentioned that the average tune-up (if you want it done professionally) is about $5000! That soured the deal pretty quickly.

The 308 sure sounded nice when revved up, though... (sigh).

Back on the subject of crappy cars, I have noticed that none of you have mentioned the old circa 1970s FIAT Spyder and/or the MGs - we used to own both and between electrical fires (stupid LUCAS electrical systems), engine fires (the carb was leaking fuel onto the manifold, on the FIAT) crappy handling, those things were virtual "rolling coffins". The FIAT didn't even have seat belts.

-Nick



"We all have wings, but some of us don't know why..."
User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15828 posts, RR: 27
Reply 113, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 7247 times:

Quoting TSS (Reply 109):
Since Ferrari 308s are hardly rare as Ferraris go, $59,000 could probably get you a decent example, a parts car, and a scheduled maintenance visit.

Decent runners can be found for under $40,000 all day long. Of course, for a car that isn't especially fast and, if I remember correctly, requires the removal of the wheel and fender liner in order to change the belts it isn't a great value.

Quoting nickh (Reply 112):
Ferrari 308s (sexy), 328s and 348s are dirt cheap on the used market, if you know where to look for a well maintained example.

They're cheap for a reason. Not worst car territory, but small Ferraris after the Dino got good with the 355 and I would say the 360 is the high point from a styling perspective.

Quoting nickh (Reply 112):
he mentioned that the average tune-up (if you want it done professionally) is about $5000! That soured the deal pretty quickly.

Sounds about right.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlinePHLBOS From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 7557 posts, RR: 23
Reply 114, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 7245 times:

Quoting TSS (Reply 109):
The Ford is a '71 (dip in front bumper under center grille section), the Chevrolet is a '63 (round tail lights and horizontal side character lines- '62s had inclined front-to-rear character lines and '64s had rectangular tail lights).

   That's what I get for not looking more closely at the grille. If the Chevy wagon was a bit more closer, I might have been able to better identify the year better. BTW, I'm well aware that the '64 wagon had rectangular tail lights; that's why I made no meniton of it.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 111):
Thanks for the clarification. I zoomed the original earlier and you I couldn't exactly make out what the emblem said on the rear quarter panel, but now I agree it is "Country Sedan", and I do remember seeing "Galaxie 500" somewhere else on the car.

The Country Sedan had a Galaxie 500 emblem on the dashboard, just above the glovebox and on the right (closer to the passengers-side door). The Country Sedan also featured bright door frames whereas the basic Ranch Wagon (Custom & Custom 500) had body-color door frames; that's how I knew it was the mid-level trim.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 111):
Wiki lists the engine choices for the 59-72 era as:
...
351 cu in (5.8 L) 351M/351 Cleveland V8

Wiki error: the 351M (Modified) didn't come out until 1975 when it replaced the 351C (Cleveland).

Quoting Revelation (Reply 111):
460 cu in (7.5 L) 385 V8

While the 460 indeed existed back then, the only Ford (as opposed to Lincoln or Mercury) model equipped w/such thorugh 1972 was the Thunderbird. It wasn't offered on the full-size Fords until 1973/1974 (I have brochures for both the '73 & '74 full-sizes at home, I'll have to double-check).

Quoting Revelation (Reply 111):
My best recollection was that it had the 400, but I'll have to ask my older brother, since he was/is a big time auto buff.

I do know it went like hell, especially with just me and dad in it.


Being a '71, it was likely the 390, 400 or 429.



"TransEastern! You'll feel like you've never left the ground because we treat you like dirt!" SNL Parady ad circa 1981
User currently offlineTSS From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 3070 posts, RR: 5
Reply 115, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 7218 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 113):
a car that isn't especially fast and, if I remember correctly, requires the removal of the wheel and fender liner in order to change the belts

Ooh, my Escort ZX2 has something in common with a Ferrari!  
Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 114):
If the Chevy wagon was a bit more closer, I might have been able to better identify the year better. BTW, I'm well aware that the '64 wagon had rectangular tail lights; that's why I made no meniton of it.

No offense intended. Although I quoted you, I posted those "spotter's guide"-style quick tips for general information only.



Able to kill active threads stone dead with a single post!
User currently offlinePHLBOS From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 7557 posts, RR: 23
Reply 116, posted (1 year 11 months 1 week 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 7182 times:

Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 114):
While the 460 indeed existed back then, the only Ford (as opposed to Lincoln or Mercury) model equipped w/such thorugh 1972 was the Thunderbird. It wasn't offered on the full-size Fords until 1973/1974 (I have brochures for both the '73 & '74 full-sizes at home, I'll have to double-check).

I double-checked and confirmed; the 460 became an option for the full-size Fords (& Mercurys) in 1973 which was also the final year that the 429 was available.

Quoting TSS (Reply 115):
I posted those "spotter's guide"-style quick tips for general information only.

   Thanks, I was wondering why you were making refernce to the '64s.

Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 114):
Quoting Revelation (Reply 111):
My best recollection was that it had the 400, but I'll have to ask my older brother, since he was/is a big time auto buff.

I do know it went like hell, especially with just me and dad in it.

Being a '71, it was likely the 390, 400 or 429.

I double-checked on this as well (I bought some old brochures from a vendor the last time I was in Carlisle); your father's wgon could have had any one of those 3 engines (or even the base 351). The 400 was a new option for that year and the 390 was in its final year.



"TransEastern! You'll feel like you've never left the ground because we treat you like dirt!" SNL Parady ad circa 1981
User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12923 posts, RR: 25
Reply 117, posted (1 year 11 months 1 week 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 7157 times:

Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 116):
I double-checked on this as well (I bought some old brochures from a vendor the last time I was in Carlisle); your father's wgon could have had any one of those 3 engines (or even the base 351). The 400 was a new option for that year and the 390 was in its final year.

Very intersting. Thanks!



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlinezippyjet From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 5533 posts, RR: 13
Reply 118, posted (1 year 11 months 1 week 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 7125 times:

Quoting Revelation (Reply 107):

That's sad about your dad. You all looked like a cool family.

Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 105):
Make that four. I always liked the simulated woodgrain look on wagons. The only problem was that, in most instances, such required buying the top-of-line/loaded model.

Yes and no. True, my Aunt and my dad's wagons were both the top of the line Country Squire (1969 LTD) but, my Aunt's wagons were the loaded ones. Even her 1963 Squire had factory air and power windows! Before model year 1965 for the full sized Fords, the factory a/c units were all the center hung under the dash units. They actually had two models of A/C units with the "Select Aire" being the better of the two. 1965 and later Ford full sizers had the conventional integrated in the dash factory A/C units as options. Interesting observation regarding the A/C in my dad's two Ford wagons; the 1967 factory A/C kicked ass and blew super cold air. I remember a really typically hot sticky Baltimore summer August Sunday when we drove to visit the Stroudsborg Railroad (about a 90 minute or so drive to PA.) My dad cranked the A/C much to my mom's chagrin. Big Momma could never stand it too cold. Back in 1967 though the factory a/c was integrated, you still had the side panel driver's and passenger (front's) side air vents where you pulled a knob like the headlight switched of that era. So my mom could get warm (actually) hot air to warm her feet. My dad, me and my little sister joined in to bitch about this. Back in 1967 an air conditioned car was still a novelty and running it was special though gas was like a quarter a gallon! But my dad wanted to shut my mom up so he aquiessed. (fond memories of my parents sort of like the Honeymooners with each parent having their Ralph Kramden moments) Dad sometimes went into Ward Cleaver. Big Momma was never June, more like Roseanne Conner or Divine in Pink Flamingos or Female Trouble. So my dad then told us (my sister and me to pipe down and enjoy the rde) translated; if mom is too cold we all will hear about it for the 90 minute drive.
Interestingly, the 1969 Country Squire A/C never seemed to blow as cold or cool the car like in the 1967. The 1969 was an entirely new redone model. Maybe that's why the A/C was not as good as the 1967. Also this was the first year of Ford's "Front Room" dash. All the controls were in a mod 1960's contoured to the driver like a cockpit. And the A/C vents seemed lower in the dash.

Sorry to go off on that tangent. Back to the loaded issue. My dad's two wagons were pretty much the standard bread and butter equipped with factory A/C the most extravagent option. Both my dad's Ford wagons had the 390 V8 which wasn't a slouch by any means but not a rubber burner hotrod. Power brakes, Power Steering, Power tailgate window and AM radio were the only other extra cost options besices the A/C. Locks were manual and it was window cranks all the way. Now my Aunt's 1969 Squire had power everything and even AM-FM and 8 track radio. Talk about living large and hers had the 429 V8 which could bust a move when pressed. Even on the Country Squire you could go depression era with 3 on the tree manual, no radio, no A/C, no power brakes or power steering. My dad's two wagons basically had the Galaxy 500 vinyl seats. You couldn't get the fancier LTD seats in the '67 or '69 wagons. Even my Aunt's fully loaded '69 had the same type seats. I believe it wasn't until the 70's when the Country Squires could be had with LTD brougham/Colony Park more upscale luxury car seating. And my dad's 1969 Squire did not have the new interlocking steering wheel ignition switch GM and Chrysler cars had them.

And while on the worst cars I remember the 1980 Caddy V8-V6-V4 was a mechanical and driving dud.

The X cars were a novelty in 1979 and 1980 but beside their quality problems were stale by the time we got into the 1980's. The Chevy Celebrity body cars as mentioned rode well into the 1990's but they drove like boring turds unless you ponied up for a car like the Pontiac STE which had that European feel to it. The J cars drove a bit better but by then if it was a Honda, Datsun then Nissan or especially a Toyota that was what flew off the lots in the 1980's. Standard American cars became an also ran, a joke. This was when most people couldn't buy a new car every two or three years. Back when you could trade in a car every couple years the built in obsalesence of American cars was less a big deal than when we hit the 80's.



I'm Zippyjet & I approve of this message!
User currently offlinePHLBOS From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 7557 posts, RR: 23
Reply 119, posted (1 year 11 months 1 week 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 7100 times:

Quoting zippyjet (Reply 118):
And my dad's 1969 Squire did not have the new interlocking steering wheel ignition switch GM and Chrysler cars had them.
No Ford product had that feature until 1970, when it became standard across the board. That configuration was viewed as an anti-theft item back then.

As far as the Country Squire's not having the top-line interior trim; it was likely viewed back then that wagons would get more wear & tear in the inside (aka utilitarian use) than their respective coupe/sedan/convertible counterparts. That said, the more luxurious LTD trim was restricted to the non-wagon body styles.

While it may have been an option early on, I didn't really see too many full-size Fords on the road equipped w/power locks until the mid-70s LTD models came out. It's also worth noting that A/C wasn't standard until 1987 and power windows didn't become across-the-board standard equipment until 1990 despite many models being equipped w/such.

Quoting zippyjet (Reply 118):
And while on the worst cars I remember the 1980 Caddy V8-V6-V4 was a mechanical and driving dud.

Again, that was another example of rushing an item into production before fully sorting things out. Remember in late 1979/early 1980, there were high gas prices, long lines at the stations and automakers were being pushed into the wall w/then-relatively new CAFE standards (then at the 20 mpg figure for '80). They were doing everything they could, at the time, to either meet the standards and to soften the fuel economy blow associated w/the selling of their larger cars & engines. It's also worth noting that such an item was quietly re-introduced by Cadillac and also offered by Chrysler well over 2 decades later.

Quoting zippyjet (Reply 118):
The Chevy Celebrity body cars as mentioned rode well into the 1990's but they drove like boring turds unless you ponied up for a car like the Pontiac STE which had that European feel to it.

Actually, the Buick (Century) & Olds (Ciera) were the only FWD A-bodies the survived into the 1990s. The Pontiac 6000 and Celebrity coupes & sedans were dropped after 1989 and the Celebrity wagon was no more after 1990.

Quoting zippyjet (Reply 118):
This was when most people couldn't buy a new car every two or three years.

Have you seen the prices of today's cars? There's a reason why the average age of cars on the road these days is about 11 years old. And that 2-to-3 year cycle you speak of, at-large, went out the window in the late 70s/early 80s. The downsizing effort that took place back then came w/a price or rather a dramatic increase in sticker prices. As a result, even minor facelifts and restyles every 2 years were either postponed or simply not done due to costs.



"TransEastern! You'll feel like you've never left the ground because we treat you like dirt!" SNL Parady ad circa 1981
User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12923 posts, RR: 25
Reply 120, posted (1 year 11 months 1 week 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 7081 times:

Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 119):
Have you seen the prices of today's cars? There's a reason why the average age of cars on the road these days is about 11 years old.

I didn't know about that 11 year data point, it's very interesting, and to me, pretty hard to visualize.

It'd also be interesting to see inflation-adjusted purchase price data.

My take on it (which is not based on any data) is that growing up in the US in the 70s, US-made cars seemed to have a lot of "planned obsolescence" built into them. Certainly a large part of the population didn't buy new cars just because the prices were thought to be cheap, they wanted to make the car last as long as possible, but a "tipping point" was hit where reliability was so bad and/or so many minor things broken that it made more sense to replace the car than to fix it. Many found the Japanese imports just lasted longer (once the early imports got past their problems with rust) and that's a big reason why they got so popular so quickly. It seems now that US and Japanese cars are hitting parity, in many cases because the Japanese cars are using lower quality parts rather than everyone using higher quality parts.



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlinePHLBOS From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 7557 posts, RR: 23
Reply 121, posted (1 year 11 months 1 week 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 7083 times:

Quoting Revelation (Reply 120):
I didn't know about that 11 year data point, it's very interesting, and to me, pretty hard to visualize.

The 11-year figure was based on a TV news report I heard over a week ago; so, take it for what it's worth. Also, keep in mind that it's a Nationwide statistic, thereby cancelling out the impoverished & the ritzy neighborhoods/regions.

Given the fact that cars (include trucks, vans & SUV/CUVs in the mix as well) don't visually change as frequent as they used to; one can easily see somebody mistaking say a 9-year old car for a 4-year old car.

For grins & giggles:

PHLBOS' current car inventory (both are currently registered & driven):

2007 Mustang

1997 Ford Crown Victoria

Average age: 2002 or 11 years old (considering the 2013 models are currently being sold).

PHLBOS' immmediate family members' car inventory (again, all daily drivers):

2007 Ford Escape (father's)

2003 Ford Taurus (sister-in-law's)

2001 Ford Escort (mother's)

1998 Chevy Cavalier (brother's)

Average age: roughly 2002 or 11 years old.

Mine & my family's vehicles actually match the statistic dead-on.

[Edited 2013-01-09 10:17:15]


"TransEastern! You'll feel like you've never left the ground because we treat you like dirt!" SNL Parady ad circa 1981
User currently offlineAeroWesty From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 20822 posts, RR: 62
Reply 122, posted (1 year 11 months 1 week 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 7031 times:

I'm surprised no one's nominated the mid-80s Chevy Camaro. I had the 1983 model with the 5.0 litre V-8. Consumer Reports rated it in their used car review as "a rolling assemblage of everything wrong with American sports car building today." I couldn't agree more! That thing was costing me $500-600 a month in repairs for its last year before I finally threw in the towel and sold it to a colleague who could work on cars and saw it as a challenge. It was totaled a couple of months later when a car blew a stop sign and broadsided it. Finally out of its misery is all I could think of at the time.

It's funny to see the Chevy Vega always appearing on these lists of worst cars. A company my dad worked for in the 70s had the Pontiac version, the Astre, as a company car to tote things around in the station wagon version. Horrid car to drive, but dang if that thing didn't go 150K before it needed any major repairs, and they finally sent it on its way to the scrap heap. Amazing since it was driven around by all and sundry who by nature wouldn't have taken as good of care of it as a car of their own.



International Homo of Mystery
User currently offlinecptkrell From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 3220 posts, RR: 12
Reply 123, posted (1 year 11 months 1 week 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 7022 times:

As far as the 11-year figure you folks are talking about, I think a good part is that in the last decade or so most (I said most) vehicles, irrespeftive of the nameplate, are pretty reliable. Alright, please don't diatribe on how your particular Dodge or Kia or whatever was - is- a POS...most of us have had an experience or two. BUT most cars and trucks are screwed together a lot better than before. Hence, a better longevity deal for the equation. This is a plus for buyers, thereby allowing them to keep their machinery longer before it is "broom it" time.

Another part of the deal is that there is a lot less of mentsl "keeping up with the Jonses" (an old marketing, and actual or mental "me-too-ism" in the buyer's mind) psyche as far as purchasing new vehicles go. Furthermore,total styling changes are much more time and cost consuming than 'way before. So, IMHO it's kind of a normal 3-way evolution.

I was particularly vulnerable to that sort of mind-thinking in my younger years. I bought (now embarrassingy so) a new '60 Chevy, a new '62 Chevy, a new '63 Plmouth and a new '64 Plymouth, not so much because of the "me-too-ism" styling so muuch as the different powertrains available to satisfy my drag racing and street racing addiction (I was less proficient at wrenching with no wrenches at the time). It was was SO important to me then. Slightly more mature now, wifey's got an '05 Hemi 300 and we don't really care much about the new styling or having a new car, unless necessary of course,,. and I've got me a couple of newer pickem' up trucks and don't care about the new for the sake of being new.. They'll probably last until way past I become room temperature, anyway.

RE: Revelation in Rep 120: "I'd also be interested to see inflation-adjusted purchase price data." I remember my new '60 Impala was US $2,700 and some pennies including tax, title and license plates. And it had the "big" 348 engine, three carbs, etc. My '65 Corvette super loaded even w/fuel injection was a bit less than 5 grand. But then again, gasoline was "free" at the time. ("Money for nuthin' and the Chicks are free" Thanks, Dire Straits, late, but thanks). Inflation adjustment WOULD be interesting; I haven't ever bothered to compute.

Back to original topic: Could that 2CV I saw in the college parking lot a few days ago be one of the "worst" cars? naaaw...It's too damn cute. Regards...jack



all best; jack
User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15828 posts, RR: 27
Reply 124, posted (1 year 11 months 1 week 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 7017 times:

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 122):

I'm surprised no one's nominated the mid-80s Chevy Camaro.

Those were bad, but a lot of similar cars from the era were as well. It was pretty poor car, but not that much worse than contemporaries as far as I know.

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 122):
I had the 1983 model with the 5.0 litre V-8.

My mom's old Caprice has the 5.0L L03 engine too, and while not especially unreliable, is awfully weak and leisurely about pretty much everything.

Quoting cptkrell (Reply 123):
Inflation adjustment WOULD be interesting; I haven't ever bothered to compute.

I've found that adjusted for inflation car prices, and weights, have gone up. I'd chalk almost all of it up to additional creature comforts and safety features in modern cars. Using CPI the original 1953 Corvette which sold for about $3000 would be a little over $25k today.

Of course, performance has gotten better too. It wasn't that long ago that GM wasn't even embarrassed about offering sub-200 horsepower V8s while a modern V6 Camaro has over 320 horsepower.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlinecptkrell From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 3220 posts, RR: 12
Reply 125, posted (1 year 11 months 1 week 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 7013 times:

Aerowesty (Rep 122); You spent near $600.00/ month on repairing a 1983 Camaro? Tha's $7,200.00/ yr !

The average price on a new US vehicle was $7,000 to $10,000 in 1983. And for that got you the WHOLE car. New. What year did you throw in the towel? (I did sell my '65 Corvette for less money than you could currently buy an original fuel injectoir air box and data plate for now, but that's a li'l different).

Regards...jack



all best; jack
User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12923 posts, RR: 25
Reply 126, posted (1 year 11 months 1 week 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 7008 times:

Quoting cptkrell (Reply 123):
'60 Impala was US $2,700
http://www.bls.gov/data/inflation_calculator.htm gives me $21k in current dollars.



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlinecptkrell From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 3220 posts, RR: 12
Reply 127, posted (1 year 11 months 1 week 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 7004 times:

Yes, Revelation (Rep 125); Three years ago I met some of my GM buddies at the Corvette Museum and factory in Bowling Green, KY. Across the street from the museum is a vintage automobile sales "dealership". There was an almost exact '60 as per my old Chevy Impala, right down to the red color and matching houndstooth interior with the 348, 3X2 bbl, posi, 4-sp, etc, except this vehicle had the corny rear fender skirts and the corny optional bumper "tits" front and rear. Asking price three years ago; $27,550.

As a perspective, when I drove my '62 409/409 Impala from Nashville to LA, I was paying in the middle 30cent per gallon for high test (premium) gas. Maybe it was almost 0.40 per gallon, can't really remember. Do remember, though that the first Walmart and Kmart were opening up. That was yesterday and yesterday's gone. Regards...jack



all best; jack
User currently offlinesccutler From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 5613 posts, RR: 28
Reply 128, posted (1 year 11 months 1 week 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 6990 times:

Quoting cptkrell (Reply 127):
As a perspective, when I drove my '62 409/409 Impala from Nashville to LA, I was paying in the middle 30cent per gallon for high test (premium) gas. Maybe it was almost 0.40 per gallon, can't really remember. Do remember, though that the first Walmart and Kmart were opening up. That was yesterday and yesterday's gone. Regards...jack

My first car, a '61 Impala Sport Sedan, 348 with TurboGlide and Four-Seasons Air. Sure wish I had it now...



...three miles from BRONS, clear for the ILS one five approach...
User currently offlinezippyjet From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 5533 posts, RR: 13
Reply 129, posted (1 year 11 months 1 week 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 6991 times:

Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 119):
No Ford product had that feature until 1970, when it became standard across the board. That configuration was viewed as an anti-theft item back then.

My mistake. I always thought this was mandated for cars made after a certain date in 1969. I remember the shoulder harness and head restraints were required for cars made after a specific date in 1968, so early '68 models came without and the later made cars came with same with the anti-theft ignition setup a year later in 1969.

Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 119):
As far as the Country Squire's not having the top-line interior trim; it was likely viewed back then that wagons would get more wear & tear in the inside (aka utilitarian use) than their respective coupe/sedan/convertible counterparts. That said, the more luxurious LTD trim was restricted to the non-wagon body styles.

Actually I remember convertibles sometimes got left out of the luxo trim due to people putting the tops down and exposing their chariot to the elements. I remember the Squire interiors were equivelant to the standard or mid level LTD or high level trim on the Galaxie 500's.

Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 119):
Again, that was another example of rushing an item into production before fully sorting things out. Remember in late 1979/early 1980, there were high gas prices, long lines at the stations and automakers were being pushed into the wall w/then-relatively new CAFE standards (then at the 20 mpg figure for '80). They were doing everything they could, at the time, to either meet the standards and to soften the fuel economy blow associated w/the selling of their larger cars & engines. It's also worth noting that such an item was quietly re-introduced by Cadillac and also offered by Chrysler well over 2 decades later.

And, I remembered Caddy advertising and promoting the hell out of this feature that was a lemon. I even remember the big three putting six cylinder engines in their land yachts to make the CAFE standards. A lot of grey haired foxes tooled around hitting parked cars saying the parked cars moved and were at thought in strippo bench seat Buicks, Plymouth Coronets/Satelites with six cylinder engines that went from zero to 20 in about 45 seconds!

Also by then the downsized fullsized GM cars along with the Intermediates received chintzy trim and cosmetic modifications making them seem outdated. (at least my opinion)

Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 119):
Actually, the Buick (Century) & Olds (Ciera) were the only FWD A-bodies the survived into the 1990s. The Pontiac 6000 and Celebrity coupes & sedans were dropped after 1989 and the Celebrity wagon was no more after 1990.

They overstayed their welcome especially the turd driving Celebrity and the Buick Old People's Century. But then the General managed to come up with cars that felt, drive and fell apart like their X and F body predcessors, remember such duds as the booring Chevy Corsica and the snooze affair Lumina?

Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 119):
Have you seen the prices of today's cars? There's a reason why the average age of cars on the road these days is about 11 years old. And that 2-to-3 year cycle you speak of, at-large, went out the window in the late 70s/early 80s. The downsizing effort that took place back then came w/a price or rather a dramatic increase in sticker prices. As a result, even minor facelifts and restyles every 2 years were either postponed or simply not done due to costs.

And Japan never looked back and they said "Thank You Very Much." Because most of the Japanese cars were made to drive, feel, handle and stay together for those projected 11 years. While the big three did business as usuall and self destructed generally after two or three years. Back in the 80's and 90's, a 10 year old Toyota still felt solid and drove well where your average American car of five years old felt 10 years older than that Accord, Celica or Maxima!

Quoting Revelation (Reply 120):
My take on it (which is not based on any data) is that growing up in the US in the 70s, US-made cars seemed to have a lot of "planned obsolescence" built into them. Certainly a large part of the population didn't buy new cars just because the prices were thought to be cheap, they wanted to make the car last as long as possible, but a "tipping point" was hit where reliability was so bad and/or so many minor things broken that it made more sense to replace the car than to fix it. Many found the Japanese imports just lasted longer (once the early imports got past their problems with rust) and that's a big reason why they got so popular so quickly. It seems now that US and Japanese cars are hitting parity, in many cases because the Japanese cars are using lower quality parts rather than everyone using higher quality parts.

My dad knew that as far back as the 1960's and my dad was not one for going out and buying new things because they were the pretty new must have gadget. My dad was of that old school when it came to things like window air conditioners and white goods (kitchen and laundry appliances) to make do and if necessairly cannabalize for replacement parts and keep them running till they totally croaked. I can attest to that having to pull out the chassis of the 1959 Whirlpool (by RCA with the doggy logo) air conditioner out of the sleeve in the wall and clean the guts and gerimander the old goat to cool that bedroom for another couple years! But my dad knew that back then when a Ford, Plymouth or Chevy hit that two or three year mark the sh*t happened meaning multiple nuiscanse repairs. Akin to an old person who suffers and goes into the hospital to get their rrhoids
banded, zapped or frozen off then when the tush is better then their pecker has issues, when said Johnson is fixed, then their liver goes south, then their navel I think you get the picture. So my dad budgeted and replaced his cars. My parents told me about their mid 50's Ford convertible where the first day they bought it the door handle came off. Also I came into the world so my dad bought that new hippo blue Forward Look 2 speed Tourque Flight Plymouth straight six Suburban wagon with the base interior and no carpet, no power steering, no power brakes, Air conditioning? you asked roll down those windows. And even that finned wagon's rear tailgate window had the hand crank! AM radio and that 2 speed tranny were the only splurge options. When it rained which it does alot in Baltimore starting that bovine on wheels was a major league broadway production. My dad had to drive that thing rust and all till JFK was killed (my sister came along in '61) so a new car was out. Then he had that ambulance white Chevy I believe Biscayne wagon, first V8 and power steering, oh my! and the living large option was a power tailgate rear window. My dad swore he wanted factory A/C on the car but they were not available or he'd have to wait and that was not an option as that Plymouth wreck was a beached whale. That '64 wagon was a good car till fall of 1966 when it's obsalesence reared it's lemon head. Then dad got into the wood panel look and splurged for factory A/C with the 67 Country Squire. That was a flawless car but in 1969 we were going to embark on a long trip driving to Florida and my dad knew the clock was ticking. His idea of a family fun vacation did not include filling an overheated radiator with dirt water from a swamp in dixie. My dad had been there done that with the Plymouth when he had to drive into Southern Maryland for business! The 69 Country Squire had it's issues but really started it's decline in 1973 as Watergate hit the fan. Then my dad gave a fair ado to station wagons and Ford and bought a white pimpmobile 1973 Buick Electra Deuce and a quarter. (that car had a 455 V8 that was like a hippo charging on steroids but got single digit mpg.) In 1977 he bought the "bordella on wheels black with black vinyl top Olds 98 Regency) Then prices were higher and the two to five year cycle went out the window. I inherited the bordella on wheels with A/C that did not work, and the rear bumper hanging off the back. It had that low rider look in B-More. I even put fuzzy dice dangleing from the rearview mirror and a couple stuffed Spuds McKenzies on the rear deck shelf. That car ate gas even if you looked at it or it was standing still. It finally met it's maker in early 1991 when driving on a major boulevard it threw a rod and parts cascaded the road and it smoked more than Cheech and Chong! I was laughing like a drunk hyena. Then I got hold of my favorite car my beloved 1986 Celica GT Coupe 5 speed which was flawless. It was killed by a driver who ran a stop sign across that same busy thourofare. Sorry folks for another Zippy saga!.

Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 121):

You have been blessed by the domestic automotive Gods!



I'm Zippyjet & I approve of this message!
User currently offlinetype-rated From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 130, posted (1 year 11 months 1 week 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 6973 times:

Quoting zippyjet (Reply 129):
Sorry folks for another Zippy saga!.

Don't worry, sometimes you write the funniest things when relating your experiences.


User currently offlinePHLBOS From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 7557 posts, RR: 23
Reply 131, posted (1 year 11 months 1 week 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 6940 times:

Quoting zippyjet (Reply 129):
I remember the shoulder harness and head restraints were required for cars made after a specific date in 1968, so early '68 models came without and the later made cars came with

That's because it was a safety-related item.

Quoting zippyjet (Reply 129):
the anti-theft ignition setup

Which was more of a convenience item and not safety-related. While having one's car stolen sucks, it's not a safety hazard.

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 122):
Chevy Camaro. I had the 1983 model with the 5.0 litre V-8

Short answer to the issues w/your '83 Camaro: Cross-fire Injection!

If memory serves, most of the 5.0L engines offered on the Camaro were equipped w/the trouble-prone cross-fire injection; which rolled out a year earlier when the F-body received a long-overdue makeover. I'm guessing that half of your repairs may have been cross-fire injection related. My indoor track coach experienced similar when he bought his '82 Z28. He replaced it w/new Toyota SR5 4WD pick-up; which was totalled a year or two when he hit a patch of ice (while in 4WD mode, BTW) and slammed into telephone pole and replaced it with new Buick Regal coupe (w/the 5.0 V8-carbureted).

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 124):
Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 122):
I had the 1983 model with the 5.0 litre V-8.

My mom's old Caprice has the 5.0L L03 engine too, and while not especially unreliable, is awfully weak and leisurely about pretty much everything.

The 5.0L engine in your mom's Caprice was not equipped cross-fire injection (the likely issue(s) that AeroWesty encountered w/his Camaro); that feature was exclusive to the Camaros & Corvettes of the era. The 5.0L (305) offered on the Impala/Caprice was carbureted through the 1988 model year; it went TBI (throttle-body injection) in 1989. As far as the lackluster performance is concerned, one needs to remember that GM's original plans were to have this platform (& its larger C-body counterpart) discontinued by the 1984 model year. Why invest the money to beef up performance on a vehicle that was originally predicted to be a ghost by 1985?

As it turned out, Chevey wouldn't get serious about the V8 performance in its full-sizes until the 90s.

Quoting zippyjet (Reply 129):
I even remember the big three putting six cylinder engines in their land yachts to make the CAFE standards.

Ford hasn't offered a six-cylinder engine in its RWD full-sizes since 1972. My brother briefly had a '72 Galaxie 500 sedan that was equipped w/such. I later found out that the engine was available 'fleet only' for that year but the '71 Custom/Custom 500/Galaxie 500 2 & 4-doors listed the 240 cid inline-6 as its standard engine. No Panther-platformed car ever had a 6-cylinder engine (V-type or inline).

The first GM full-size to re-introduce a 6-banger in its line-up was the 1975 Buick LeSabre w/the 3.8L (231 cid) V6. When the B-bodies were all downsized 2 years later (1977); 6-cylinder engines became standard across-the-board. The larger C-bodies would get available V6s in 1980. The Caddy 4.1L V6 (offered 1980-1982) actually had better pick-up than the pitiful HT4100 V8.

The '79-'81 Dodge St. Regis and '80-'81 Plymouth Gran Fury (R-bodies) listed the old 225 cid 'Slant-6' as its standard engine.

Quoting zippyjet (Reply 129):
Actually I remember convertibles sometimes got left out of the luxo trim due to people putting the tops down and exposing their chariot to the elements. I remember the Squire interiors were equivelant to the standard or mid level LTD or high level trim on the Galaxie 500's.

The trim on the '69-'70 XLs, despite sporting LTD/Country Squire's nose (concealed headlights) indeed had the interior trim of the Galaxie 500. 1969 was the final year of the Galaxie 500 convertible BTW (model sported the standard nose). However, I believe the '71-'72 LTD convertible (final full-size Ford ragtops) had the LTD interior trim but not the dressier Brougham. White interior seats were also a convertible & coupe exclusive.

Prior to 1969, the Country Squires likely had the Galaxie 500 interior trim. From 1969-on, the Country Squire's had the 'base' LTD trim.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 126):
Quoting cptkrell (Reply 123):
'60 Impala was US $2,700
http://www.bls.gov/data/inflation_calculator.htm gives me $21k in current dollars.

Which is still cheaper than the starting price of Chevy's current Impala (at $25,860); but, then again, many of the standard features on the 2013 Impala were either optional on the '60 or weren't even available. However, the Impala for 1960 was Chevy's top trim level; the Biscayne was Chevy's entry-level standard (full-size) car back then.

Quoting zippyjet (Reply 129):
six cylinder engines that went from zero to 20 in about 45 seconds

While you're clearly exaggerating, all cars of that era were painfully slow. Again, there was essentially a Perfect Storm of regulations hitting the auto industry seemingly all at once (safety, emissions & fuel economy) at the time. Additionally, most import brands got a bit of a pass during the 70s in terms of emission (no catalytic converters until the 1980 model year) & fuel economy (most imports sold in the US were smaller than a compact Chevy Nova or Ford Granada of the era and offered no V8 engines) requirements & standards.

It took manufacturers a few years to work-around the regs to improve engine performance. Lower, more stable gas prices, an improving economy and an Adminstration (sorry about the politics, but it is the truth) that wasn't so regulation-happy helped the matter as well.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 124):
Using CPI the original 1953 Corvette which sold for about $3000 would be a little over $25k today.

Keep in mind that the '53 & '54 Corvette only had 6-cylinder engines; the V8 would be offered a year later.



"TransEastern! You'll feel like you've never left the ground because we treat you like dirt!" SNL Parady ad circa 1981
User currently offlinetype-rated From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 132, posted (1 year 11 months 1 week 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 6936 times:

Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 131):
Which was more of a convenience item and not safety-related. While having one's car stolen sucks, it's not a safety hazard.

Actually another reason the key was moved to the steering column was to prevent knee injuries during an accident. A lot of times if someone had an accident in a car with the key in the dashboard they would end up with a split kneecap. Very painful.


User currently offlinePHLBOS From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 7557 posts, RR: 23
Reply 133, posted (1 year 11 months 1 week 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 6934 times:

Quoting type-rated (Reply 132):
Actually another reason the key was moved to the steering column was to prevent knee injuries during an accident. A lot of times if someone had an accident in a car with the key in the dashboard they would end up with a split kneecap. Very painful.

Not every car had the ignition switch on the same exact location of the dash. While the '69 Ford (full-sizes) had it located at the bottom-lower right-side of the dash; many other makes & models had the igintion switch located at a higher location. On those models, one's knee would hit the bottom of the dash before hitting any key(s).

Tid-bit: Many trucks & vans wouldn't have the igintion switch located onto the steering column until roughly a decade later.

The '79 Ford Econoline van my father had the ignition switch located on the left-side of the dash not too far from the door vent-window; this was the final year for this location/layout. The location of that switch was likely the reason how the van (despite being locked) was easily stolen from a shopping mall parking lot a year after my father bought it in 1982.



"TransEastern! You'll feel like you've never left the ground because we treat you like dirt!" SNL Parady ad circa 1981
User currently offlinecptkrell From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 3220 posts, RR: 12
Reply 134, posted (1 year 11 months 1 week 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 6915 times:

Only a brief insertion to the already knowledageble previous posts. It relates to safety stuff. IIRC, Ford offered a "safety" or "driver protection" option around 1957. This order checklist included (and this is from memory, here), a "deep-dish" steering wheel with collapsable horn ring. A padded "dash board", and I think, padded sun visors. Maybe seat belts were included?? I guess about 100 dealers and/or customers checked off this option USA-wide. Ford dropped the option.

Nowadays everybody wants 6 or 8 airbags (and 6 or 8 cupholders)!

My new '60 Impala did not have seat belts (or outside rearview mirrors) when delivered. I (we) promptly installed seat belts in the car at the drag race shop the second day I had the car. regrads...jack



all best; jack
User currently offlinetype-rated From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 135, posted (1 year 11 months 1 week 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 6909 times:

I had a 67' Chevy SS with the 396 engine and the key was directly in front of my knee. I have seen keys in various cars all over the dash.

User currently offlinezippyjet From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 5533 posts, RR: 13
Reply 136, posted (1 year 11 months 1 week 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 6891 times:

Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 131):
The first GM full-size to re-introduce a 6-banger in its line-up was the 1975 Buick LeSabre w/the 3.8L (231 cid) V6. When the B-bodies were all downsized 2 years later (1977); 6-cylinder engines became standard across-the-board. The larger C-bodies would get available V6s in 1980. The Caddy 4.1L V6 (offered 1980-1982) actually had better pick-up than the pitiful HT4100 V8.

Another Zippyjet epic albeit a bit tragic:
An old couple drove East on a Westboiund stretch of our Beltway near Pikesville. The Pikesville couple were in their mid 70's and drove a 1975 Buick LeSabre with the six cylinder engine. They were both vertically challenged. The driver the hubby who was maybe 5'2" thought he lost his dentures and was so "ferklempt" he managed to get in the wrong lane driving on the beltway zipping along at 40 mph. in the left lane going the wrong way. They came face to face and head on with a special ed shortbus that was going the right way but still under the speed limit. The old biddy wife survived with nary a scratch and said her beloved husband I believe his name was Leonard tried to speed out of the way of the oncoming short bus but, the car wasn't fast enough and he could barley reach the gas pedal. So he careened head on into the short bus. The driver of the short bus went on to heaven along with Lennie who thought he lost his chompers. The kids with helmets were unscathed thank goodness! It turned out "Leonard" was wearing his fake chompers but forgot and couldn't feel them so he freaked and went West in the Eastbound lane. Fire and rescue found the suspect chompers on the side of the road. The force of the collision caused Lennie's chompers to fly out the window at wharped speed. Also, one of the special kids on the short bus lost his hockey mask/helmet and it too was on the side of the road sharing concrete with Lennies dentures that was the cause of this sad but quite intersting fiasco. ONe of the accident investigators felt had Lennie's land yacht Buick had better pickup he may have been able to avoid hitting that short bus but would have probably run his land yacht up on the divider impaling his 5'2" frame and his wife I believed her name was Sema or Thelma could have become roadkill.
Those 1975 GM cars were way oversized and outdated. Even with the smaller V8's they were a geriatric turtle on wheels but putting a 6 Cylinder in one? Another reason I was never a fan of Buick. I associated Buick with the exception of the Riviera as the laxative and adult diaper division of General now Government Motors!



I'm Zippyjet & I approve of this message!
User currently offlinesccutler From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 5613 posts, RR: 28
Reply 137, posted (1 year 11 months 1 week 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 6794 times:

Lord, I never realized the '75 Buicks could be had with a six. What a disaster. That car had to weigh 5,000 lb, if it weighed an ounce...

Recall that the 231 V6, then, did not yet have the split-journal crank, and so it was uneven-firing (was a V8 with two cylinders just lopped off).

I had a 1977 Buick LeSabre company car with the V6, and while it sounded a little odd, it actually drove reasonably well and got great mileage for its size. Still, taht engine really came into its own when they made it even-firing.



...three miles from BRONS, clear for the ILS one five approach...
User currently offlinePHLBOS From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 7557 posts, RR: 23
Reply 138, posted (1 year 11 months 1 week 18 hours ago) and read 6749 times:

Quoting zippyjet (Reply 136):
Those 1975 GM cars were way oversized and outdated.

No more than the rest of their competitors at the time.

Quoting zippyjet (Reply 136):
Even with the smaller V8's they were a geriatric turtle on wheels

Prior to the '77 downsizing, the smallest V8 offered on GM's B-bodies was the 350. The larger Buick & Olds C-bodies (Electra 225 & Ninety-Eight) base engine was the 400 (with the 455 being an option) and all '75 Caddies (except the then-new Seville) had the 500 (8.2L).

Were they slow? Compared to today's models and their late-60s predecessors, yes; compared to other vehicles of the era, not that out of line.

Quoting sccutler (Reply 137):
Lord, I never realized the '75 Buicks could be had with a six. What a disaster. That car had to weigh 5,000 lb, if it weighed an ounce...

To be clear, the 3.8L (231) V6 standard engine was restricted to the base-model LeSabre and was likely geared differently than the gearing of the same engine on the X-body (Nova-based) Skylark so it would be less doggish in terms of acceleration.

But, again (as I mentioned at least twice in previous posts and can not stress further) this was an era that the automakers (mostly domestic) were hit with a barrage of regulations & requirements in a few short years' time. It would take almost a decade for them to sort things and and work around those regulations and improve performance without sacrificing fuel economy.

Quoting sccutler (Reply 137):
I had a 1977 Buick LeSabre company car with the V6

My brother for a few years had an '84 LeSabre w/the 3.8.

Quoting sccutler (Reply 137):
it actually drove reasonably well and got great mileage for its size.

   He experienced similar.



"TransEastern! You'll feel like you've never left the ground because we treat you like dirt!" SNL Parady ad circa 1981
User currently onlineSuperfly From Thailand, joined May 2000, 40065 posts, RR: 74
Reply 139, posted (1 year 11 months 1 week 18 hours ago) and read 6746 times:

Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 138):
To be clear, the 3.8L (231) V6 standard engine was restricted to the base-model LeSabre and was likely geared differently than the gearing of the same engine on the X-body (Nova-based) Skylark so it would be less doggish in terms of acceleration.




A cousin of mine had a 1977 Buick Skylark Landau with that base V6 engine. It was was really, really slow. Not sure if there was something wrong that could have been fixed.



Bring back the Concorde
User currently offlinesccutler From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 5613 posts, RR: 28
Reply 140, posted (1 year 11 months 1 week 5 hours ago) and read 6696 times:

Quoting Superfly (Reply 139):


A cousin of mine had a 1977 Buick Skylark Landau with that base V6 engine. It was was really, really slow. Not sure if there was something wrong that could have been fixed.

If a Skylark with a 3.8 two-really-slow, there was something awry. I drove (as noted above) a '77 LeSabre, as well as a Regal, with that engine, and other than its odd sound (again, uneven-firing), it performed reasonably well. Certainly, for the time, it was adequate.



...three miles from BRONS, clear for the ILS one five approach...
User currently onlineSuperfly From Thailand, joined May 2000, 40065 posts, RR: 74
Reply 141, posted (1 year 11 months 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 6634 times:

Quoting sccutler (Reply 140):
If a Skylark with a 3.8 two-really-slow, there was something awry.



Maybe my cousin was too cheap to get it fixed. I can imagine those really haul @ss with a 350cu" V8.
My old roommate had a 1990 Buick LeSabre Custom and later a 1994 Buick Park Avenue Limited with the same engine but the 2nd generation with EFI and in a front-drive platform. Those cars seriously hauled @ss and were bulletproof. Those 3.8 Buicks go on forever and ever, and ever....